At Geddes Capital, we like to think we have the necessary tools and experience to tackle fraud. Unfortunately, we still find ourselves exposed to fraud on an ongoing basis.
Fraudsters, especially within the financial sector, are more sophisticated than ever. Whether you are a small organisation or a large, commercial financial institution, fraud is affecting all of us.
We feel we have a duty to minimise fraud, not just for our business, but for the economy in general. That’s why we’re sharing 5 easy steps you can take to make your business more fraud-proof.
While the direct impact of fraud is clear, indirectly, it raises the cost of credit and of doing business for all players within the market.
We are passionate about helping South African SMEs thrive and grow. With limited resources and challenging economic conditions, most SMEs focus on growth and survival, not necessarily due diligence, digital controls, and risk management. This leaves SMEs particularly vulnerable to fraud attacks. It has never been more important to highlight these issues to ensure that fraud is minimised.
“Organisations lose about 5% of their revenue to fraud or theft each year. Whilst this can be expensive for a large institution, it can prove fatal for SMEs.”
Remember, fraud can come from anywhere; staff members, customers, suppliers as well as third parties. If a deal or opportunity sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
At Geddes Capital, we have seen it all; fraudulent bank letters, doctored bank statements, falsified POPs and/or SWIFT notifications, Letters of Credit, and the list goes on. Here are some steps to help spot these sorts of fraudulent documents:
Sadly, it’s not about fraud elimination, the best we can do is fraud minimisation. These are the most challenging economic conditions of our time, and fraud can come from anywhere and anyone. Remember: Always, always verify!
We are all familiar with the aptly named ‘phishing’ emails. Most of us think we would be able to spot one immediately. Be warned, these are becoming more elaborate and sophisticated. Furthermore, as a business owner you may know what to look for, but do your employees?
It is a cybercrime where scammers attempt to gather sensitive information and data from you. They will use multiple platforms, disguising themselves as your bank, a colleague, or a service provider such as PayPal or Microsoft.
The basic emails are always designed to look professional and legitimate. They will have the company logos and legitimate-looking links or attachments to click on. Once you click on these links or download an attachment, you will most likely be taken through to a fake website which can automatically install malware and viruses onto your device, allowing the hackers to steal your personal information or capture your username and passwords as you enter them. Scary stuff!
Enforcing simple, easy-to-follow controls for you and your employees can hugely reduce the risk of being de-frauded:
Perform regular anti-fraud training for employees. Not only will this effectively teach your employees what to look out for, but it sets a strong tone from management that fraud prevention is a crucial part of your company’s work culture.
If you don’t report fraud, you can’t fight it! Globally, it is estimated that nearly 85% of fraud and cybercrime goes unreported. According to the latest statistics released by the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS), South Africans have faced increased risk over the past year. Impersonation fraud has always been a significant risk in South Africa and cases have increased by a staggering 264% for the first five months of this year, SAFPS says. The impact of this is devastating for the economy and it has never been more crucial to ensure fraud is reported. The South African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) exists to assist in the fight against fraud, through advice as well as a fraud victim registration platform which will assist applicants in preventing fraud. Click here: https://www.safps.org.za/
Those are our 5 steps to help you protect your business from fraud. If you found them helpful, let us know over on LinkedIn.
And remember, stay safe out there.