It’s the most fraudulent time of the year…

For many, the holidays can be ‘the most wonderful time of the year’.

Unfortunately for most businesses, it can also be the most fraudulent time of the year.

Why is that, when so many are looking forward to sharing time-honored traditions with loved ones?

Because while we’re exchanging gifts and attending social events, we’re also very distracted.

And that means for a lot of businesses juggling end-of-year orders, employee time off requests, and closing out their books for the year, they’re letting their guard down.

According to the 2023 Association of Financial Professionals Payment Fraud Survey:

  • The share of businesses that reported commercial card fraud has increased by 10 percentage points since 2021.
  • The share of businesses that reported ACH Credit fraud has increased by 6 percentage points over the same time frame.
  • Fraudsters continue to impersonate employees and vendors through sophisticated business email compromise schemes that are the root cause of most reported fraud cases.
  • Checks are the payment method most vulnerable to fraud – a trend that has remained consistent since the first AFP survey.
  • Still, three out of four organizations that use checks plan to keep using checks.

So what can our business members do?

Below are a few best practices to keep in mind:

Account reconciliation – Time is crucial in detecting fraud. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses don’t have the capacity or time to reconcile accounts daily. Several businesses may be waiting for their month-end statement to reconcile, during which time a fraudulent item could have cleared the account without their knowledge. The sooner fraud is caught, the faster your business member and your branch can act to recoup the funds and put proper safeguards in place to prevent future fraud from occurring.

Dual control – Segregate duties between check writer and check signer. Requiring two signatures on checks or two authorized originators for ACH and Wire payments helps minimize both external and internal fraud.

Check stock – Many business members are purchasing check stock from Walmart or Amazon which is easy to obtain, but also easier to counterfeit. A small investment in quality checks will go a long way to prevent checks from being counterfeit or altered. Security features are available such as built-in watermarks, warning banners, copy void pantographs, chemical – wash detection fields, and more are offered by trusted check supply companies.

Training and education – We will never eliminate fraud 100%, but the more business members know about the trends and methods of fraud in the payment landscape today, the better armed they are to minimize their risk to it.

If your business members are looking for more protection, there are additional Treasury Management services most financial institutions can provide to help.

Want to learn more?

Download the 2023 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey Report highlights at or contact a member of the Tru Treasury team at

Have a happy and fraud-free holiday season!

Dana Bacon

Dana Bacon

As a Certified Treasury Professional, Dana Bacon has mastered all aspects of Treasury Management in her career spanning over twenty years. She has experience ranging from independent consulting, directing the ... Web: Details