Financial fraud risks and safeguards for 2024

We don’t like to scaremonger, but as your accounting partner we want to make you aware of the financial fraud landscape in 2024.

In short: it’s bad and it’s getting worse.

Artificial intelligence has enabled fraudsters to scan businesses at scale, looking for weaknesses to exploit. Armed with more data, the tactics they employ are getting more sophisticated.

Some recent examples:

  • A Greenhawk client got a call from the Bank of New Zealand fraud department. A quick check of the BNZ website confirmed the number the call came from was correct, but something felt off and the client hung up. Subsequent investigation by the bank revealed the initial call was from a fraudster using masking technology to impersonate the bank’s phone number.
  • Another client received a supplier invoice that looked legitimate but with a different bank account number than usual. It turned out to be a fraudster who had duplicated the supplier’s branding and sent a fake invoice.

We don’t want you to fall foul of fraudulent schemes, so here are some safeguards you can put in place in your business:

  • When dealing with a bank, always call them using the number on their website. If they call you, either hang up and call back, or run through some verification of your own – just like they do with you.
  • Verify your suppliers’ bank account details by phone – especially when you notice that they have changed.
  • To enhance security for bank-to-bank payments, implement dual-authorisation for all payments. This means that two people from your business will need to approve each payment before it is processed. If one person’s security is compromised, you’re still safe.

Finally, if in doubt, don’t hit go on a payment. It’s seldom that the urgency to pay someone outweighs the importance of being safe and secure.

As always, we’re here to support you, so fire through any questions you have about financial fraud and how to avoid becoming a victim.