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

To defend against ATM skimming:

  • Opt for ATMs that are inside a building
  • Inspect the ATM or other form of card reader before use. If anything looks loose or otherwise suspicious, do not use it.
  • Cover the keypad as you enter your pin code to thwart hidden cameras

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.