EVERY YEAR, BUSINESSES in the United States lose billions of dollars to fraud and hackers.  Technological advances have provided cyber criminals and hackers with multiple avenues and means to commit crimes.  

It is worth noting that there are various types of fraud that commonly take place in the business environment.  For starters, there is trusted employee fraud.  This is the most common type of fraud whereby employees of the business collect customers’ credit card information and make fraudulent purchases.

Alternatively, the employees may sell this information to criminals and identity thieves.  Another common type of fraud is the use of skimming devices.  Skimming devices help individuals steal information which is then used to make new cards; the cards are then used to make illegal purchases.  Phishing or spoofing is another common type of fraud.  In this instance, individuals create illegal websites that enable cyber criminals to get credit card information or carry out illegal transactions.  Card holders may also commit fraud; this is known as card holder fraud.  Card holder fraud entails purchasing goods and services using someone’s actual stolen credit card.  The card holder then claims that he or she never received the services or products.  Alternatively, the card holder may report that his or her card has been stolen, but because of the rapid progression of these crimes, it’s usually too late.

An increasingly common type of fraud is number generation, where individuals use software to identify active cards.  Hacking incidences are on the increase especially in online shopping sites.  There are various ways through which an individual may protect his or her business from hackers or fraud.  The individual may ensure that he or she gets the signature after the customer has swiped the card.  Alternatively, the person may keep a record of consumer transactions.  This helps in proving that the customer carried out the transaction and not an identity thief.  The business owner can also compare the signatures with that on the customer’s ID card.  If the individual is suspicious of the customer, he or she can demand extra information which includes mail orders, fax or phone numbers.  

Another way of controlling fraud is by obtaining an authorization after every transaction has been carried out.  An identity thief may be in a rush to complete the transaction so by being on the lookout for suspicious behavior, one can also play a role in preventing these types of crimes.

Secondly, an identity thief may make large purchases or many repeated purchases.  They may also give information which does not match that of the card holder.  Limiting access to information will go a long way in preventing fraud.  In recent times, many businesses are integrating fraud detection programs into their operations.  In these programs, employees and managers learn how to spot fraudulent activities that might be taking place.

Encrypting data in databases is also helpful.  Moreover, data sent across networks should also be encrypted.  The business may also invest in software to protect data and systems from viruses.  It is worth noting that the software should be updated regularly so as to increase efficiency.  If the business owner suspects any loss of transaction or account information, he or she should immediately investigate the loss.  Lastly, it is important to secure data even if it’s not needed in business operations.