Fraud Prevention & Security

The use of technology has many benefits, but has also opened doors for cyber criminals to take advantage. With the recent influx, Leaders Bank would like to remind our clients to be vigilant in protecting their businesses. Stopping to ask questions and validating information can be one of the best ways to prevent fraudulent activities. Combating account takeover is a shared responsibility between businesses and financial institutions. 

Fraud Tips

Email communication can be compromised.

What may appear to be a valid email could be an attempt by a criminal to target your business. Validating the information in an email before acting on it through simple direct contact with the person you believe to be the sender could keep you from being victimized. Do not use the contact information provided in the email you are questioning. Use a contact number previously provided by your vendor, or one you have used in the past.

Pay attention to suspicious activity and react quickly.

Look out for unexplained account or network activity, pop ups, and suspicious emails. If detected, immediately contact your financial institution, stop all online activity and remove any systems that may have been compromised. Keep records of what happened.

Educate your employees.

You and your employees are the first line of defense against corporate account takeover. A strong security program paired with employee education about the warning signs, safe practices, and responses to a suspected takeover are essential to protecting your company and customers.

Protect your online environment. 

It is important to protect your cyber environment just as you would your cash and physical location. Do not use unprotected internet connections. Publicly accessible Wi-Fi locations can be especially dangerous, as hackers target these areas. Do not email sensitive information unless you can encrypt the email. Update your anti-virus/anti-malware software regularly. Use complex passwords and change them periodically.

Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date.

Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive the newest fixes as they become available.

Partner with your bank to prevent unauthorized transactions. 

Talk to your banker about programs that safeguard you from unauthorized transactions. Positive Pay, ACH Blocks/Filters and other services offer call backs, device authentication, multi-person approval processes and batch limits to help protect you from fraud.

Watch out for phishing scams. 

Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account or login information. Do not click on links or open any attachments or pop-up screens from sources you are not familiar with.

Forward phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at – and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the email.

Protect your mobile device.

Use the passcode lock on your smartphone and other devices. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your information if your device is lost or stolen. Before you donate, sell or trade your mobile device, be sure to wipe it using specialized software or using the manufacturer’s recommended technique. Some software allows you to wipe your device remotely if it is lost or stolen. Use caution when downloading apps, as they may contain malware and avoid opening links and attachments – especially from senders you don’t know.

Understand your responsibilities and liabilities.

The account agreement with your bank will detail what commercially reasonable security measures are required in your business. It is critical that you understand and implement the security safeguards in the agreement. If you don’t, you could be liable for losses resulting from a takeover. Talk to your banker if you have any questions about your responsibilities.