Consumer Fraud Prevention

Don’t be victim to a scam.

As the ease of making financial transactions with a swipe or tap becomes second nature, criminals are finding new ways of committing payment fraud. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself or your business.

How to Deter Payment Fraudsters

Vigilance is your best defense in protecting yourself. Here are some simple tips you can follow to avoid the most common types of payment fraud.

To defend against check fraud:

  • Use only official U.S. mailboxes to send checks.
  • Do not include unnecessary information on checks such as driver's license or telephone numbers.
  • Store your checkbook and checks in a safe, secure place.
  • Review billing statements as soon as you receive them. Report any discrepancies immediately.
  • Shred old checks, ATM receipts, and statements before discarding them.
  • Do not sign blank checks or endorse payments until the time of deposit.

To defend against electronic fraud:

  • Create strong passwords that contain both numerals and letters. Do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Protect your login information. Do not store it on or even beside your computer.
  • Close the browser after each online banking session.
  • Ignore spam. Phishing emails can be very subtle and may contain links or downloads infected by malware.
  • Review online credits and debits daily. If you see any inconsistencies in your records, notify your bank immediately.
  • Install a firewall and anti-virus system to keep unauthorized users out.

What is ATM skimming?

  • Various methods can be used by criminals to capture the information on your bank card. Methods may include, but are not limited to:
    • Card reader overlays
    • PIN capture overlays
    • Hidden cameras

To defend against ATM skimming:

  • Inspect the ATM before use. If anything looks loose or otherwise suspicious, do not use it.
  • Do not use an ATM that appears unusual looking or offers options with which you are not familiar or comfortable.
  • Cover the keypad as you enter your PIN to thwart hidden cameras or shoulder surfing.

Safety tips when using an ATM:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, including loiterers or suspicious persons hanging around the ATM.
  • Always use an ATM in a well-lit area. If the machine is obstructed from view or poorly lit, visit another ATM and report concerns to the bank.
  • Do not leave your car unlocked or engine running when you get out to use an ATM.
  • If you observe suspicious or criminal behavior near an ATM, report it to the bank or law enforcement.

Fraud Prevention Resources

Consider the following resources for additional perspective and reliable facts on fraud.

Bureau of Consumer Protection – Business Center

Better Business Bureau – Business Resources

Guarding against External Threats of Fraud to Your Business

Secure Financial Services for Businesses

KeyBank has a number of products and services designed specifically to protect our business clients from fraud. Be sure to take advantage of these solutions.

Merchant Services
Track card payments, processing and more.

Learn More

Security Alerts
Helping you monitor the latest scams.

Learn More

The information and recommendations contained here have been compiled from sources believed to be reliable and represent the best current opinion on the subject. No warranty, express or implied by KeyBank, is made as to the absolute correctness or sufficiency of the information contained. This is meant as general information only; particular situations may require additional actions.

This document is designed to provide general information only and is not comprehensive nor is it legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. KeyBank does not make any warranties regarding the results obtained from the use of this information.