Cyber criminals, including those involved in International organized crime rings, continue to expand their circle of victims and are increasingly targeting businesses/corporations to commit financial fraud. Financial institutions, security companies, the media and law enforcement agencies have all reported a significant increase in funds transfer fraud involving the exploitation of valid online banking credentials belonging to small/medium sized businesses.
Now, more than ever, it is imperative for businesses to be routinely vigilant regarding their banking activities. Once your funds are wired to another bank, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to retrieve the funds. Here at Safeco, we are committed to helping you protect yourself and your business against these fraud scams.
IMPORTANT: Banks would never require you to enter a token ID at any time, other than to release a wire transfer or ACH file. If you are ever prompted to enter the token ID while NOT attempting to release a wire or ACH file, contact Safeco immediately.
Also, if you have declined to set up dual control authorization, which requires two User IDs to release a wire or ACH file, we urge you to reconsider your decision. We know that several attempted fraudulent wire transfers have been thwarted by the need to have two User IDs.
What you can do
In light of recent fraud trends, we believe it is prudent for our business customers to re-examine their security practices and take steps to prevent fraud through safe computing practices.
Here are some standard practices for protecting computers:
• Use and maintain Professional anti-virus and anti-spyware software with frequent automatic updates
• Install appropriate network and workstation firewalls
• Educate yourself about your operating system and Web browser’s security features and
• Keep operating system and key utility software (such as web browser software) up to date with current releases.
• Have your guard up when opening emails - be suspicious of e-mails requesting personal information and avoid clicking links or opening attachments in unsolicited emails
• Review and limit the number of employees who have administrative level access privileges to their workstations
• Limit or prohibit employee Internet access to social networking sites
In addition to the steps above, Sovereign urges you to:
(1)Utilize a dedicated computer for online financial transactions. This computer should not be used for general Internet activities (such as web browsing, for example: social networking sites like Facebook™, etc. or reading personal e-mails)
• Use only company-owned workstations (discourage use of public kiosks, personal workstations, etc. –that may not be secure)
(2)Always validate that the Beneficiary information is accurate prior to issuing payments to the Beneficiary.
(3) Require dual control for ACH and Wire Transfer authority.
(4) Consider using an alternative operating system for workstations accessing sensitive or financial accounts.
(5) Periodically run reputable software to detect if malware has been downloaded to a workstation.
(6) Reconcile your banking transactions daily.
(7) Never leave a computer unattended while conducting banking activities.
Some warning signs that you may be infected:
• Runs very slow or displays a repeated error message
• Won’t shut down or restart
• Shows several pop-up ads when you are not surfing the web
• Displays web pages or programs you didn’t intend to use
• Displays unusual error messages while performing online banking transactions
Who to notify?
If you suspect you have been a victim of online fraud or infected with malware, immediately notify Safeco at 1 (800) 379-7686. Remember, if something just doesn’t seem right, err on the side of caution and report it. Time is of the essence when detecting fraud.