Payments Fraud
Hits Record Highs

Check Fraud and BEC Scams Are on the Rise

The Association for Financial Professionals’ 13th annual Payments Fraud and Control Survey asked finance professionals from across the country about their experiences with fraud and the strategies they are adopting to protect themselves.

FRAUD REACHES RECORD HIGHS

Seventy-four percent of finance professionals report that their companies were victims of payments fraud in 2016. This is the largest share on record, exceeding the previous record-high share of 73 percent in both 2009 and 2015.

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68 % 61 % 60 % 71 % 62 % 73 % 2012 2011 2010 2013 2014 2015 74 % 73 % 2009 2016

CRIMINALS CONTINUE TO TARGET CHECKS

In the United States, checks are still the most targeted payment type, likely due to their extensive use for business-to-business transactions.

FRAUD BY PAYMENT TYPE

 

Check

Check icon
2013 2014 2015 71 % 77 % 82 % 2016 75 %
 

Wire Transfer

Wire Transfer icon
48 % 2013 2014 2015 27 % 13 % 46 % 2016
 

CORPORATE/
COMMERCIAL
CREDIT CARDS

2013 2014 2015 39 % 34 % 43 % 2016 32 %
 

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THE GROWING THREAT OF EMAIL SCHEMES

The past few years have seen a sharp increase in a particular kind of payments fraud: business email compromise (BEC). Criminals are using BEC scams to trick employees into making fraudulent payments—and while wire transfers are their main focus, checks are also targeted.

74 percent of organizations were exposed to BEC scams in 2016.



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32 % 16 % 60 % WIRE TRANSFER CORPORATE/ COMMERCIAL CREDIT AND DEBIT CARDS CHECK 74 %

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HOW ARE ORGANIZATIONS PROTECTING THEMSELVES?

Here are a few tactics finance professionals are using to protect their companies from increasingly sophisticated criminals.

74% perform daily reconciliations on transaction activity
46% use stronger forms of authentication
37% include strong controls in their disaster recovery plans
37% upgrade technology that is used to access the company network
 

What about EMV?

EMV Icon
93%believe EMV will alleviate point-of-sale fraud


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