10 Ways to Beat Business Fraud

Protect yourself and your business against fraud with a combination of awareness and prevention programs.

  1. Create and implement a policy with a clear explanation of expected conduct, actions and reporting. In the policy, include the consequences for non-compliance.
  2. Insist that employees take time off.Those who are breaking the rules may not want to leave “the roost,” for fear of being caught.
  3. No single employee should have complete control over their area of responsibility without any oversight or additional “eyes.”
  4. By the same token, there should be dual control policies in place—the sole person writing the checks should not be the sole person reconciling accounts and transactions.
  5. To reduce the risk of unscrupulous employees conducting vendor or payroll billing schemes, take steps like using only approved or known vendors and centralizing payroll check distribution using services like Online Banking and ACH Direct Deposit.
  6. Strengthen your business computer and network security. Consult a reputable expert if you need to. Up-to-date and robust antivirus and anti-spyware firewalls and malware detection/removal software are crucial. Install and maintain spam filters.
  7. Malicious software comes in many forms. Don’t click on links (pop-up or in an email) unless you are certain they are legitimate. Get training to understand the risks—for yourself and your employees.
  8. Log off and/or turn off and lock up computers used for monetary functions when not in use. Do not leave computers with administrative privileges and/or computers with monetary functions unattended unless logged off or locked.
  9. Conduct online banking and payments activity from at least one dedicated computer that is not used for other online activity, such as general web browsing, email or social networking.
  10. Basic internet/email safety mandates that you do not respond to unsolicited emails. More importantly, do not open attachments or click on links within such emails. Clever criminals can make a message appear to be from your financial institution. Do not provide account information, or use any of the links provided.


Northwest will never send you emails asking for customer ID, user ID, passwords, credit card numbers or other sensitive information. If you notice suspicious activity on your Northwest accounts, call us at 1-877-672-5678 and contact your local police.