Businesses now operate in a connected world. They sell across multiple channels and geographies. But as the number of channels and markets businesses operate in continue to rise, so does the risk of fraud. Fraud perpetrators are becoming more sophisticated. Fraud is increasingly difficult to detect. As a result standard fraud verification tools can prove to be insufficient.

Fraud perpetrators may target an online business to gain customer information such as names, addresses and payment details to commit crime.

A lot of people use public Wi-Fi networks when travelling on business at hotels, bars, cafes etc., but take no steps to secure their connection when sending personal and business emails, banking or credit card details. Public Wi-Fi networks are open to hacking, identify theft and fraud. Numerous simple tools and free apps exist which can be used by fraud perpetrators to hack public Wi-Fi networks – a process called “sniffing”.

Employees are now being targeted by “spear phishing” – when an email is sent by a fraud perpetrator directed to a particular individual. The fraud perpetrator poses as someone else within the company, usually someone important or in a position of trust. The fraud perpetrator requests information such as login ID and passwords. He may ask the employee to update their username and passwords. Once the fraud perpetrator has this information, he can access the secured networks of your company, gaining entry to confidential information and customer data.

Other methods of a fraud perpetrator include asking the employee to click on a link, which deploys malware that can take personal or confidential data from within your company.

Be wary of where you store personal or confidential information. If you employ a third party “hosting” company then you need a) to identify where your information is being kept, b) how ist is being shared and c) how it is being stored.

The latest computer threat to businesses is called crypto-locker. Crypto-locker is a form of ransomware that is usually disguise within a legitimate looking e-mail attachment. When the attachment is opened, the malware encrypts certain types of files within a computer. The victim will then receive a message offering to decrypt the data in exchange for payment usually via Bitcoin or pre-paid vouchers. There is little recourse for the victim. That is why it is important to back up your data on a regular basis.

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