5 Tips to Help Protect from Fraud

Our friends over at Intuit sent us a pamphlet with a lot of important information about dealing with fraud. We thought it was so important and insightful, we needed to pass the information on to you! The following are some excerpts from the Intuit QuickBooks Fraud Primer.

  • 60% of businesses were exposed to actual or attempted payments fraud in 2013.
  • 82% of those businesses were victims of check fraud in 2013.
  • 43% of businesses were exposed to credit/debit card fraud.
  • $23,100 typical fraud-related loss experienced by businesses.
  • 10% of businesses recover the full amount of money defrauded from them.
  • 30% recover nothing.

Here are five simple things [you can do to help protect against fraud]:

  1. Reconcile regularly. If you wait too long before realizing fraud has occurred then your bank can claim that you’re at fault. Besides, it’s just easier to remember your transactions when they’re more recent! Do your best to regularly monitor your bank balances and look for suspicious activity. And make sure to reconcile your transactions on a monthly basis – when your statements are fresh.
  2. Use a trustworthy bookkeeper. This is a major point of liability. You’re putting a lot of trust in your bookkeeper. And it’s on you to make sure they’re trustworthy. Look for bonding and licenses or liability insurance. And always take references. Often times, the best way to tell if a bookkeeper is a good fit, is to ask for referrals. Word-of-mouth is the way you grow your business. Trust it.
  3. Use strong passwords. If you password is “PASSWORD” or “1234567890” your computer is not secure. Always password protect your computer and consider using a separate computer just for finances. Longer passwords are better. And using a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols (with no ties to your personal information) is the way to go.
  4. Limit your exposure. Which means basically, stay organized. Using a set routine, storing your records, and keeping your files well organized, not only helps you work more efficiently, it also shows that you’re responsible. Plus, if you ask the U.S. Treasury, disorganization is a point of liability. If the banks can prove that you were lax in keeping a solid routine, you may be liable.
  5. Be diligent. Sounds obvious, but it’s important. You need to do everything you reasonably can to fight fraud. That includes logging out when you leave your desk, keeping your checks secure, backing up your data, and keeping an eye on your bank balances. Regularly monitor your credit report, and keep in mind that all devices are access points to your data. Protect them.

For more in-depth information on how to fight fraud, visit the U.S. Treasury website at: http://occ.gov

To learn more about how Intuit is helping fight fraud, keep reading:

Online Protection:

  • Daily Monitoring. If someone tries to open a credit account in your name, you want to know as soon as possible. Daily monitoring will alert you as soon as the credit reporting agencies know.
  • Change of Address Monitoring. Bad guys can change your address and have new credit cards sent to them without you ever knowing. We’ll alert you if we find out anyone tried that move.
  • Mobile Alert. If you’re on the beach in Cancun, what you really want is an alert directly to your phone. That’s what mobile alerts are all about – keeping you informed, wherever you are.
  • $1 Million ID Theft Insurance. Little known fact: getting your identity stolen could lead to some sizable legal costs. If you can’t avoid court, at least you can avoid the painful lawyer fees.
  • Lost Wallet Protection. If you’ve ever lost a purse or wallet you know what a pain it can be. We help you call your bank, credit card, and medical companies to cancel your stolen cards and get new ones ASAP.
  • Fraud Resolution Support. Get help from experts who know how to navigate the complicated legal and bureaucratic waters of identity theft. If your identity is stolen, you’re going to want this.

QuickBooks Checks:

They’re nearly impossible to counterfeit.

  • Security Hologram. Your checks (like your credit card) should have a hologram. It can’t be photocopied. At all!
  • Heat Sensitive Icon. Another way to expose an unauthorized copy. The ink in the icon on an authentic check changes color when touched. Fancy!
  • Fluorescent Fibers. This is a feature of the US $100 bill (and QuickBooks Checks). So good luck copying that, counterfeiters.
  • Microprinting. Photocopiers can’t reproduce the subtle colors or extremely small details of these features.

They don’t take well to tampering.

  • Exclusive Security Coating.  Tiny ink capsules are embedded in the paper. If a thief tries to scratch off a name or number on the check, the capsules leave a visible stain behind.
  • Chemically Reactive Paper. Some thieves use chemicals to erase ink or toner on the check. This paper will react to those chemicals making attempted fraud very apparent.
  • Prismatic Backgrounds. Which is a fancy way of saying they’re nearly impossible to reproduce on a copier.
  • Fraud Sensitive Ink. QuickBooks Checks are printed with a proprietary ink that disappears or turns pink when fraudsters try to chemically alter them.

For more information, or to purchase QuickBooks Checks, give us a call at 844-4QBOOKS. (844)472-6657.

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