How To Create a Culture of Fraud Awareness
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Your employees should be your first line of defense against fraud.

For businesses, it’s difficult to avoid the losses associated with fraud. In fact, 81% of the organizations surveyed by the Association for Financial Professionals report experiencing payment-related fraud incidents.

“Creating a company culture where payment fraud can’t thrive is so critical,” says Jon Kucharski, Head of Fraud Transaction Strategy at Regions Bank. “Building an environment where everyone owns fraud will foster this culture.”

An anti-fraud culture should emphasize awareness and due diligence by all employees. To reduce payment fraud, your efforts will need to specifically target employees involved with the money-related areas of the business, such as those working in finance, treasury, or accounts payable and receivable roles.

Heightened awareness is critically important here because most payment fraud happens as the result of complacency, says Kucharski. “Like driving a car, we get so used to doing things automatically that we sometimes don’t pay full attention to what we’re doing.”

To support a culture of awareness, Kucharski suggests that managers train employees to pause, question, and verify new information before completing transactions. Creating a payment process checklist can help ensure a consistent, comprehensive verification process. “If you see a change, it should be a red flag to wait a minute and verify that the supplier really has sent it,” he cautions. “Add some ‘pause points’ in your process for verification, especially above a certain dollar threshold.”

Likewise, consider building more time into your company’s payment process. “Fraudsters use urgency and time constraints to force payment control shortcuts,” Kucharski explains.

Commit To Ongoing Fraud Training

All employees at your organization — particularly those who are connected to money and money movement — should go through periodic training. Kucharski recommends a regular program of fraud training supplemented by ongoing communications as needed throughout the year. “Fraud training is your best protection. It’s critically important to be aware of the latest developments and to keep talking to employees about how the risk of fraud can impact them,” he says.

The people in your firm who manage compliance and risk are the right choice to tackle updating your company’s payment fraud training and communications strategy. While smaller organizations may not have the budget to invest in external training, they can still effectively train their employees to spot and prevent fraud.

We’ve created the following video as a resource that employers can share with their employees to help create awareness:

Finally, as cases of payment fraud and business email compromise continue to rise, it’s important to implement internal controls. Learn more about how to safeguard your business from payment fraud.

For additional fraud prevention resources and insights, visit regions.com/fraudprevention.

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The information presented is general in nature and should not be considered, legal, accounting or tax advice. Regions reminds its customers that they should be vigilant about fraud and security and that they are responsible for taking action to protect their computer systems. Fraud prevention requires a continuous review of your policies and practices, as the threat evolves daily. There is no guarantee that all fraudulent transactions will be prevented or that related financial losses will not occur. Visit regions.com/STOPFRAUD, or speak with your Banker for further information on how you can help prevent fraud. References or links to third-party websites do not imply endorsement.