Follow These Tips to Help Mitigate Your Fraud Risk

Best Practices in Fraud Prevention

You play a critical role in the prevention and detection of fraud on your financial accounts. Below are some risks you need to be aware of, and steps you can take to help protect yourself and your business from fraud.

Watch for Business Email Compromise scam red flags

Business Email Compromise scams target businesses that regularly perform wire transfer and/or ACH payments. Scammers employ tactics such as social engineering and computer intrusion to seek and compromise official business email accounts to conduct unauthorized fund transfers. Red flags include:
  • New email format, strange language, or unusual tone.
  • Emails from addresses that include typos or slight variances in spelling.
  • Unexpected emails from business executives.
  • Requests to keep a transaction secret.
  • Excuses for why senders can’t be reached by phone.
  • Changes in vendor payment details.
  • Pressure to make a quick decision.

Keep your computer secure

While digital transactions can greatly reduce your fraud risk, they can also expose your systems to the latest threats from malware, spyware, viruses, bots and browser hijack. Below are ways to minimize risk:
  • Use a dedicated and actively managed firewall.
  • Install and update antivirus and security software.
  • Download IBM Security Trusteer Rapport® by visiting
  • Use secure web browsing sessions.
  • Log off after online banking sessions.
  • Limit administrative rights on computers.
  • Restrict computer access for personal email accounts.
  • Use strong passwords unique to online banking.
  • Do not share banking credentials.
  • If possible, use a computer dedicated solely to banking.

Look out for phishing emails

Phishing is a scam in which someone poses as a legitimate institution to gain sensitive data. Don’t reply to or open files attached to emails that:
  • Require you to give your personal or account information.
  • Pressure or threaten you to take immediate action.
  • Contain grammatical errors or awkward writing.
  • Include an offer that sounds too good to be true.

Make use of other best practices

Additional steps to consider to safeguard your system and business include:
  • Keep your SVB profile contact information up to date.
  • Request a Client Fraud Risk Assessment be performed.
  • Use dual administrators.
  • Delete disabled users.
  • Enable Wire Alerts and Security Alerts.
  • Reconcile your banking transactions on a daily basis.
  • Segregate duties within your organization.
  • Have separate bank accounts for collections and operating purposes.
  • Immediately notify your SVB Relationship Advisor if you suspect fraudulent activity on your account.
For more information about what you can do to mitigate your fraud risk, visit the SVB Fraud Prevention Center at or contact your SVB Relationship Advisor.

About the Author

Rob is SVB's Deputy Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Officer, responsible for fraud and anti-money laundering investigations. He has spent more than 20 years in banking focused on risk management, information technology, and decision science. Prior to joining SVB, Rob served as the manager of operations for Financial Crimes Investigations with Wells Fargo Bank.