Five tips to protect your business against fraud during the holidays

The holiday period can offer rich pickings for fraudsters. Criminals take advantage of the absence of managers or temporary breakdowns of controls to divert or extort funds and put your cash flow in danger. But precautions can be taken, because it is often the human factor – naivety, in short – that allows fraudsters a way in. 

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Here are a few tips to protect your business against fraud

1.    Familiarise your staff with the most frequent risks

Urgent instructions in an unsolicited phone call or email, sudden orders for large quantities with no haggling over the price, changes of a supplier’s bank detail or a customer’s address, a payment reminder for a bill you’ve already paid: these behaviours should alert you, so don’t just check, double-check.

2.    Don’t over-personalise your out-of-office message

If you’re in a decision-making role, your out-of-office message can give precious clues to fraudsters, who will then try to impersonate you while you’re away. Make sure you don’t give away too much detail.

3.    Use a code word to prevent identity theft

Agree a secret code word, or a precise answer to an everyday question, with your back-up or secretary. If they receive an instruction that purports to come from you, they will then be able to confirm whether it really is you or not.

4.    Continue having invoices double-signed during the holidays

The person acting as the second signatory has an outside view of the transaction and will be able to detect fraud more easily.

5.    Draw up a crisis plan to follow in the event of fraud

Communicate the plan to all your staff before the holidays begin. Include an emergency contact number, which should be posted all over your premises.

 

There is no such thing as zero risk. Fraud insurance protects you against every risk of fraud

If you want to minimise your risk of financial loss, consider a fraud insurance policy that protects you against both traditional fraud and cyber fraud. Euler Hermes is the only insurer in Belgium that offers both forms of cover in a single policy. 

 

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