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Ways to protect your business against email payment fraud

Email payment fraud is a common scam. Make sure you safeguard your business against it. Here are some steps you can take to help protect yourself and your business against these types of scams.

1. Look for signs of fraud

Email payment scams are designed to appear as 'business as usual' requests for payment, but there are some potential warning signs to help you to identify a fraudulent request. The more of these flags you see, the more careful you should be before responding.

  • The request is marked 'confidential' and 'urgent'
  • There is unusual language or formatting from the sender
  • The 'reply to' email doesn't match the sender's email
  • The bank account listed is different to commonly used accounts
  • You're asked to ignore your payment authorisation process

2. Act with caution

If you doubt an email request is legitimate, take extra steps to validate the email.

  • Call the sender to confirm the request sent over email was legitimate. Use the phone number listed for the sender in your internal directory or customer relationship management system, never the number listed in the email
  • Escalate if something feels suspicious

3. Educate your employees

Make sure your employees know how to recognise and prevent these types of email scams. Some strategies include:

  • Training your employees to watch out for suspicious emails
  • Adding a multi-person approval process for verifying and paying new accounts or for payments above an agreed threshold
  • Raising awareness of the consequences of posting business information on social media
  • Keeping up to date with the latest scams

Who can help?

Your bank

If you've transferred money to the wrong bank account as a result of a fraudulent phone call or email, let your bank know immediately. 

If you're an ASB customer and you think you've been targeted, please call us on 0800 327 863 and we'll do everything we can to help.

Cert NZ

For more information on how to deal with a cyber security problem as a business or individual, please visit Cert NZ.

Signals publications

ASB's Cyber Security publication, Signals, aims to empower businesses with unique insights into the cyber threat environment and provide advice to ensure a robust defence.

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