The good news is, it’s harder to write bad checks than it used to be. But the world of payment fraud was changed considerably by the rise of the Internet, so electronic payment fraud is also a common way people attempt to defraud businesses.

Electronic payment fraud typically targets wire fund transfers and ACH originations, which are used by financial institutions to handle transactions such as direct deposits, checks, bill payments, and cash transfers.

How to Help Protect Your Organization From Payment Fraud

Following are some simple payment fraud prevention tools KeyBank recommends to businesses of all sizes:

To Defend Against Check Fraud:

  • Use only secure mail boxes to send checks
  • Keep as much identifying information as possible off checks
  • Provide a safe place for authorized personnel to store all checks
  • Monitor billing schedules. When any payment appears later, or any check remains outstanding, check with the party in question to ensure payment fraud is not the reason for the delay.

To Defend Against Wire and ACH Fraud:

  • Do not store login information on your computer
  • If possible, consider dedicating one computer solely to online banking business financial purposes. Avoid using it to visit any other Web site, engage in social media, or check email. If that is not an option, be sure to close the browser after each online banking session.
  • Ignore spam email—one of the most common ways that fraud occurs is through phishing schemes, such as spam emails sent from a hoax IRS address.
    • Avoid emotional responses to emails. Many criminals send scam emails that try to manufacture “crisis situations” and to prompt employees to circumvent normal processes and controls.
    • Cross-check emergencies to verify they are “real.” If you receive an unexpected, urgent message call the person allegedly in crisis, and never wire money before reaching the recipient “live.”
    • Review all credits and debits on a daily basis. If you see any inconsistencies in your records, notify KeyBank by calling 800-821-2829 or the relevant financial institutions immediately.


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.