Ameris Bank Senior Vice President, Treasury and Cash Management Director Duane Bunn has seen a lot when it comes to fraud – from counterfeit bills and forged checks, to hacked phone lines and ransomware emails.
Duane has more than 30 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry, primarily involving treasury and commercial products and management of several commercial teams.
Some of his responsibilities include planning, organizing and strategically leading Ameris Bank’s treasury and cash management activities as well as working alongside the commercial bankers and their treasury sales officers to provide guidance and recommendations for treasury and cash management sales.
Duane is a nationally recognized fraud and fraud prevention speaker and is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners as well as the Association of Financial Professionals. With his vast banking experience, he has learned several insights and tips on best ways consumers and businesses can be protected from fraud.
While simple in nature, this principal is the cornerstone of fraud prevention.
Both consumers and businesses need to be vigilant and stay informed and aware of all their financial transactions, especially when they are looking to find the lowest price or biggest payoff.
Ignorance is not bliss. Consumers need to be aware and educated. Do not be naïve. If it sounds too good to be true, then it usually is.
All types of customers, from consumers to businesses, need to have a fraud plan in place and know in advance who they should call if there is a monetary loss or a breach. And have an action plan that is regularly updated, activated and tested.
Duane regularly advises and teaches clients about the four Cs related to their fraud plan: construct the plan, collaborate on the plan, communicate the plan and continuously update the plan.
For companies, training staff and isolating dedicated servers for sensitive information should be considered.
Criminals understand supply and demand and hackers and fraudsters are up-to-date on the latest trends and ways to scam potential customers. These schemes can include malware-infested fake photos of current issues or topics or how a trending and popular YouTube video maybe downloaded and reposted with malware-infected attachments.
During the holidays when a lot of inboxes are filled with emails about shipping updates, another scam is having someone click on a linked tracking number in an email that looks like it came from UPS.
If fraudsters see a demand, they will invent a malicious supply to go with it. It is all business for them.
Fraudsters and hackers usually start small and perfect their process with smaller consumers, then roll out larger attacks in mass by infiltrating larger businesses and corporations. You should expect to be a target.
Companies that deal in large transactions are prime targets, no matter the size of the company.
From his prior work experience, Duane recounted attacks on car dealerships in which someone would give a deposit to a dealership, wait a day, then ask for their money back, pretending they had purchased a car somewhere else. When the dealership wrote a check, the fraudster would use it to forge checks.
Companies do not have to be a household name to be targeted. Duane remembers one particular mid-size company he worked with that fended off 480 million cyber infiltration attempts in less than a year.
Bottom line – don’t wait to prepare until you have already had an incident. Be prepared and expect to be a target.
Want more fraud prevention advice? Visit the cybersecurity section under tools and resources on amerisbank.com.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.