Feb 14, 2013 Dave King
Electronic payments have experienced massive growth in recent years, as more businesses begin to adopt the associated systems for a variety of purposes. ACH cards and wire transfers have become the norm for several corporate accounts payable and receivable functions, including payroll and regular vendor transactions. These strategies have proven to reduce operational expenditures and improve the efficiency of regular payments through automated activities.
However, electronic payments pose unique threats to corporate infrastructure, as well as customer data, as thieves are increasingly targeting automated transactions to steal sensitive information. Businesses need to be vigilant when launching electronic payments strategies to deter ACH card and wire fraud from their operations. Failure to do so could lead to massive financial losses and hurt reputations.
Liquor store's woes
The Palos Patch recently reported that a liquor store in Palos Hills, Illinois, was victimized by wire fraud theft the led to $20,000 in incurred losses. This case is being investigated by Palos Hills law enforcement officials, as well as agencies in Antioch, California, where the thieves are expected to reside.
According to the news provider, the case is suspected to be a matter of deception, as investigators believe that an unknown caller asked an employee to transfer $10,000 into an account and tear up the receipt. The individual allegedly explained to the employee that there was a change in training policies for the wire transfer program the liquor store used.
The source explained that the suspect called again only one day later, and told a different employee to do the same thing. Then, the owner checked the company's account and saw two separate wire transfers one day apart from each other, and each was for more than $10,000. The grand total of money stolen with this deceptive practice was $20,941.06.
The Palos Patch explained that a suspect has not been identified as of the last police report. These crimes can often be difficult to solve, as savvy criminals often only need a few days to completely cover their trails.
Better protections needed
This case illustrates just how quickly any company can incur massive losses from ACH card and wire fraud, as well as the importance of training all employees in best practices regarding ID verification and accounts payable activities. Businesses should consider using the most advanced security software available and always ensure oversight for accounts payable and receivable to detect and deter instances of theft in the earliest stages.