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Protecting your Business against Fraud

A couple of moths ago, you may have heard of a Facebook ads scam. I was actually traveling when this was going on, but happened to be working on onboarding a new client who’d sent me an email about the recent Facebook charge frauds and wanting to know how best to guard against them. They hadn’t been hit, but then I realized, while I was traveling, I kept seeing my little American Express alerts for charges, since I have my business card linked to my apple pay, I see every transaction that hits pop up on my phone. They were little transactions to Facebook, for under $20 but they were happening every few hours.

Then it hit me: My Facebook billing threshold is $500, so why are all these tiny charges hitting—AND, I didn’t think we were running any ads.

I was so grateful that my client had asked the question, and I was suddenly aware of what was going on. So in today’s blog, I’m going to share with you what I did, and what you can do, too.

Awareness & Fraud Training is KEY

I am SO glad I actually have my business credit card linked to Apple Pay, because if it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t have noticed the charges at all. I also have someone else on my team reconciling our books, so unless she would have noticed all the charges and put 2 + 2 together, they could have gotten more out of hand. Also, she likely wouldn’t have caught it until month end.

This is the most important aspect of fraud prevention—Awareness and Training. Be aware of the scams that are out there, and who ever is managing the money in your business, make sure they have attention to detail and can spot trends like this. Psst—that’s where my team can help, but isn’t 100% error proof. Even if you trust your bookkeeping team to catch things, only YOU really know your own business spending habits, so it’s always a good idea to skim your bank statements for strange activity.

Any time there are multiple small transactions for a ‘known vendor’ like Amazon or Facebook, that should be a red flag. These are test transactions. The scammer is testing to see what they can get away with before they start hitting you with bigger transactions

Use a reputable Credit Card with Fraud Protection

When it comes to business and protecting your cashflow, I always recommend having a business credit card that you use for online purchases (honestly, I recommend the same for personal—never save your debit card as a purchase method online). Even when your bank offers fraud protection, imagine having to wait 10 days to get back all the cash that someone stole. That could effect you making payroll.

My recommendation for a Business Credit card is American Express < hit that link to apply and receive extra points!

I have the Amex Business Gold, and use it for almost every purchase in my business: Ads, software, contractor payments, etc. and then I use the points to book travel (business and personal). This year, I’m taking the entire team to Nashville, TN for Xerocon!

I also book my travel through American Express using the card, and receive 4x points on those purchases.

When I noticed the 8+ charges from Facebook that were fraud, I was easily able to initiate a fraud dispute on the app on my phone through the chat function. They immediately reversed the transactions and issued a new card number.

Understand your bank’s dispute process

If you aren’t able to get approved for a credit card, at least make sure the bank you are using has adequate fraud protection and make sure you understand what the process is before you ever have to dispute a charge. It’s like knowing how to put tire chains on your car before you ever encounter a storm.

Most of our clients bank with Relay (as do we) and they have an easy process for fraud disputes as well.

I hope you never have to deal with fraud, but in this day & age, it’s inevitable, and the fraudsters are only getting more sophisticated.

If you’d like a second pair of eyes on your books monthly, fill out our interest form to become a client HERE>


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