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Sponsored by: Chelsea Groton Bank
March 21, 2024

How to Keep Business Accounts Safe

What’s Going On

Scammers are getting smarter at how they try to steal a business's hard-earned money, which means businesses need to get tougher in how they defend their accounts. Some scammers are even going as far as creating fictitious websites to try to capture online banking log-in credentials.

Why It Matters

Generally, businesses only have 24 hours to detect and report fraud to their financial institution, so it’s incredibly important that a business owner and supporting finance team are always aware of what is happening in a business's accounts.

What You Can Do About It

While there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for fraud attempts, there are several best practices all business owners should implement to minimize the risk of financial loss to a business’s bank accounts due to fraud:

  • To ensure you or your employees never enter online banking login credentials on a fictitious website, only access the login page of your financial institution from a known,  trusted url or app. Never click on a link to a financial institution’s online banking login page from a text or ad. Trusted ads will bring you to a bank's website first, not directly to the login page.
  • Utilize your financial institutions’ online banking system to set up alerts and, in real time, review transactions for activity that appears out of the ordinary. Through Chelsea Groton’s online banking system, an account owner can set up text or email alerts when sums move in and out of their accounts or balances reach certain levels. Chelsea Groton also offers a Smart Card app to track spending, set geography limits and transaction types, and apply other limitations to all debit cards linked to a business’s account.

  • Assign responsibilities for your account to different individuals, and periodically reassign who handles which portion of accounting duties. For example, individuals who write checks should not reconcile your account statement.

  • Review the front and back of check images paid through your account to ensure the information – including the endorsement– is accurate. Restrict access to check stock, use tamper-resistant check stock, and destroy any check stock that you do not intend to use. Never sign blank checks.

  • Consider signing up for Positive Pay Fraud Detection Service, which provides protection against check and ACH fraud activity by monitoring checks and electronic debits processed for payment, so an authorized user on the account can reject unauthorized transactions before losses occur. Another key benefit of Positive Pay is that in the event of a fraud incident, businesses don’t need to close and reopen their bank account, thereby avoiding having to switch over automatic transactions, order new checks, and other to-dos that can come in the wake of fraud.

  • Never trust wiring instructions received through email. Cyber criminals hack email accounts and send convincing and sophisticated emails with fake wiring instructions, so it’s important to independently confirm wiring instructions in person or by phone with a trusted and verified phone number.

  • Obtain insurance coverage for fraud risks.

Chelsea Groton is proud to offer these and other tools to business owners as they work to mitigate potential fraud on accounts. It’s important to check with your financial institution regarding the products and tools available to support you and how to implement them as soon as possible.

About Chelsea Groton Bank

Based in Groton, Conn., Chelsea Groton Bank is a full-service mutually owned bank with over $1.6 billion in assets. Chelsea Groton Bank’s products and services include consumer banking, business banking, mortgage and business lending, cash management, financial planning, and financial education programming. With 14 branch locations throughout New London County and a Loan Production Office in Hartford County, Chelsea Groton Bank also provides online and mobile banking, 24-hour telephone banking, video banking, and nationwide ATM banking for individuals, families and businesses. To learn more, please visit www.chelseagroton.com. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS Institution ID 402928.