Don’t become a victim of ACH fraud – here’s how
ACH transactions are electronic payments or money transfers over the automated clearing house (ACH) network. The ACH network can be used to process transactions such as direct debits, direct deposits, direct payments, electronic checks, and electronic funds transfers. Unfortunately, these types of transactions can be susceptible to ACH fraud.
ACH transactions are more common than you might think. Direct bill payments to utility companies, direct deposits from an employer, and electronic payments via Zelle or Venmo are all common examples of different types of ACH transactions. Businesses also use ACH services, such as direct deposit for payroll or vendor payments.
Here are 6 ways to avoid becoming a victim of ACH fraud:
1. Verify before sending funds.
Make sure you have the correct name, account numbers, amounts, and contact information before you send an ACH transaction. Be sure to use the correct numbers you’ve used in the past. If you receive a new account number via email or text, this could be a scammer attempting to re-route your ACH payment.
2. Look out for new, unfamiliar accounts and fake invoices.
Scammers may try to trick you by creating new accounts and passing along fake invoices. When sending money electronically, always match the requested amount to a legitimate invoice from a trusted vendor.
3. Never click on an email link or open an attachment.
Even if the link comes from someone you trust, their email account may be compromised, and the link may infect your system with malware.
4. Inspect email addresses.
Some fraudsters are pretty good at disguising their email addresses – but there will always be slight discrepancies. To be safe, you should never correspond via email regarding ACH transfers.
5. Ignore a sense of urgency.
Scammers will often trick you into thinking you need to send an ACH transfer right away. Don’t do it. Instead, call your payee directly and discuss when they can expect payment.
6. Implement financial security procedures.
Two-factor authentication or dual controls can help protect your ACH transfers.
Be informed and stay safe.
By following some of these best practices to avoid ACH fraud, you can help protect yourself and your business from what could be a significant financial loss. Learn more about online security and identity theft on our website.