Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Five tips to protect your business from fraud during COVID-19

The information around the COVID-19 outbreak continues to change on a daily basis. As bad actors seek to capitalize on the situation, it’s incredibly important to protect yourself and your employees from coronavirus-related phishing schemes and fraud.

Here are five tips to help safeguard your organization from these types of scams:

  1. Avoid business email compromise (BEC): BEC often occurs when a fraudster sends an email to your company’s payments team impersonating a key contractor, supplier or stakeholder. The sender’s email address often appears to be the same as a known email address. Implement a payments security protocol that includes a two-step verification process with alternative contact (phone, text message), and always use known contact details to follow up.
  2. Hang up on robocalls: Everything from coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes are being peddled by robocall scammers. Don’t press any numbers, as that can lead to more robocalls. End the call immediately and report it to the FTC at donotcall.gov.
  3. Look out for bank impersonation: Criminals are also impersonating financial institutions. Genuine interaction with HSBC isn’t pressurized or rushed. HSBC shares guidance for staying connected with us and how to be vigilant against fraud on our public website.
  4. Validate wire transfers: With regard to wire transfers and other high-value payments, your staff must be well-trained and vigilant. Validate all requests for transfers (or beneficiary address changes) through multiple channels and be on the lookout for phishing, unusual emails and other attempts to redirect payment transactions from established standards.
  5. Download security patches: Turn on automatic updates so you have the latest fixes to problems as they arise. Set your software to automatically update; typically, these have the most up-to-date security functions.

Please visit the verified websites of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for the most current information. Speak to your Relationship Manager to learn how HSBC can support your unique business needs.

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