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How businesses can help protect customers against fraud

A review by the Financial Conduct Authority found that in the first half of 2023, 116,000 people reported falling victim to Authorised Push Payment (APP) fraud. This occurs when someone is tricked into sending money to a fraudster posing as a genuine payee.

The review calls for better support from banks and payment providers, but Vivek Dodd, CEO of online compliance training provider, Skillcast, has shared how businesses themselves can help prevent customers from falling victim to scams.

  • Fraud awareness: Create informative content, such as blog posts, emails, or social media updates, to educate customers about common scams and fraud tactics.
  • Fraud training: Train your customer service representatives to recognise and address potential scams, ensuring they can provide accurate information and assistance to customers.
  • Secure transactions: Use encrypted and secure payment gateways to protect customer financial information during transactions. Encourage or require customers to enable two-factor authentication for their accounts, adding an extra layer of security.
  • Security audits: Regularly assess and update security measures to identify vulnerabilities and address them promptly. Employ ethical hackers for penetration testing to simulate cyber-attacks and test the strength of your systems, helping to identify and fix potential weaknesses.
  • Communication channels: Clearly communicate the official channels through which your business will contact customers. Warn them against responding to unsolicited emails, calls, or messages. When interacting with customers, employ verification processes to confirm their identity before discussing sensitive information or making changes to their accounts.
  • Fraud reporting: Create a simple and accessible way for customers to report suspicious activities or potential scams. Ensure that reports are taken seriously and investigated promptly.
  • Customer support: Provide responsive customer support to address concerns and questions related to potential scams or fraudulent activities. A quick response can help mitigate the impact of a security incident.

Vivek said, “though it is the duty of banks and payment providers to support victims of fraud and help them get their money back, many businesses can help their customers spot and report scams.

“If your business name and details are being exploited as part of an online scam, consider assisting your customers in distinguishing between legitimate business communications and fraudulent ones.

“Remember that building a culture of security within the organisation and maintaining open communication with customers are key components of successful fraud prevention. Regularly update policies and procedures to adapt to evolving threats and technology.”

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