Safeguard your practice against wire fraud
Have you received a request for a wire transfer? Before moving forward with disbursement of any funds entrusted to you, consider the following:
Step 1: Red flags
- Receiving an urgent email to disburse funds.
- Communication that does not match original wire instructions.
- Slight variations on an email address of the sender.
- Communication request via email only (without verbal instructions).
- Messages from the sender using incorrect spelling or odd phrases.
- Incoming phone call requests from an unfamiliar contact number.
- Request for urgent wire transfer after receiving an unexpected check from your client.
Wire fraud generally involves an attempt to defraud your firm, your client and could damage your reputation; therefore consider implementing the following:
Step 2: Preventative measures
- Ensure well-defined protocols are in place for all wire transfers.
- Initiate verbal authorization no matter the urgency of the request.
- Institute electronic security and authentication controls.
- Educate employees on the risks associated with phishing schemes.
- Refer back to your clients’ primary contact information.
- Regularly update spam filters and firewalls.
- Before initiating any wire transfer, always call your client.
Cyber criminal schemes are complex, convincing and creative. Protect yourself and your clients by verbally confirming all wire transfers prior to disbursement of funds.