News & Resources

Two major schemes that require a business' attention

Feb 15, 2012 Karen Umpierre

Although Consumer Reports recently revealed that the overall rate of identity theft is declining, the Federal Trade Commission reported more than 1 million complaints during 2010 than it had in 2001. According to Eyewitness News, Americans are spending approximately $3.5 billion per year on identity theft protection services, and with good reason. The following are common threats to a business or individual and ways to counter them. Malware protection
One of the easiest routes of identity theft is through an individual's or business' computers. Within an email, a hacker can send a link to a virus or program that can reveal personal information. For instance, if a user accesses their bank account online, the authorization details may be visible to a hacker if they have successfully infected the device used. With any business computer, anti-virus software should be installed and regularly updated. In addition, employees shouldn't open any emails from unknown parties, and more importantly, they should never click a link or download an attachment sent from suspicious individuals. With the hundreds of emails that pass through an employee's inbox every week, it may be difficult to investigate every one thoroughly, but as a rule of thumb, if the business isn't affiliated with the individual sending the email, that email should be trashed immediately and reported to the IT team to warn others of a potential widespread attack. ACH scam calls
Recently in Connecticut, the Better Business Bureau and Southington Police Department sent a warning to businesses and consumers warning of potential financial scams. One of the scams noted by the organizations involved individuals posing as employees of the National Automated Clearing House Association. These criminals will call employers or workers and suggest they must reveal personal financial information to authorize checks. If the business is suspicious of a supposed NACH caller, they should hang up the phone immediately and call the organization to confirm or disconfirm the scam. The threats of financial fraud are all around us, but it is essential for a company to invest in protective software through reputable agencies, and additionally make employees aware of common threats.