At Interstate Billing Service, we take the security of our clients and customers seriously. Fraud prevention is an industry-wide concern impacting businesses around the world. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you avoid fraud.
Know Your Customer
One of the most prolific means of fraud happens after a product is shipped. Product recovery can be difficult once your item is in the hands of the wrong person, and you could be left responsible for the cost. Here are a few ways to help prevent shipping fraud before it leaves your business:
- Develop relationships with the people you do business with most often. If you don’t recognize a customer, ask for a photo ID and verify employment.
- Require legible signatures on invoices. Often, signatures can look more like a scribble pattern than a legit signature. To help avoid not recognizing a signature, ask the customer to also print their name.
- Verify drop-ship addresses. If someone asks you to change a ship-to address, call the office to verify.
Credit applications are the lifeline between your customers and the services you provide. Unfortunately, there are people out there who attempt to pose as people or companies to steal goods or services by submitting fraudulent information. A few red flags to look for when reviewing a credit application are:
- Location – Be mindful of the location submitted by the applicant. Ask yourself if the customer’s location makes sense for your business footprint.
- Email – Look for inconsistencies with email addresses, links, and company domains. Does the domain name match the name of the company email submitted?
- Misspellings – Look for simple misspellings or grammatical errors throughout the application. This type of error may indicate fraud.
- Phone Numbers – Double-check the phone number. If their address is in Houston, but their area code is in New York, this could be a red flag.
- Search Engine – When in doubt, conduct a quick web search of the company website. Use a search engine, like Google, to search all contact information provided on the application to make sure it ties back to an actual company. If something doesn’t seem right, call the number discovered through your search, not the number provided on the application.
Utilize Your Resources
The bottom line is that everyone in your company is responsible for fraud prevention. Communicate with your customer-facing team members to ensure they understand the importance of fraud prevention and what signs to look for. You are successful in your business for a reason. Make sure to rely on your intuition and the team you have built to help run your business.