Fraud Prevention Center

An Integrated Approach to Prevention

Fraud prevention should be an integral part of every company’s business strategy. It’s not just about stopping the bad guys; it’s about enabling your business to grow and evolve without unwanted — and costly — interruptions. Silicon Valley Bank offers preventive tools, services and guidance to help you mitigate your risk of fraud.

Prevent fraud on Silicon Valley Bank's online systems.

Online and Mobile Protection

Prevent fraud on our online systems

Structure your company banking accounts to minimize the risk of fraud and theft. Segregate and reconcile accounts to help safeguard your business.

Structure Accounts to Minimize Risk

Segregate and reconcile accounts to help safeguard your business

Tips from Silicon Valley Bank to lower risk of internal fraud.

Optimize Company Operations

Tips for lowering risk of internal fraud


Silicon Valley Bank follows best practices for reducing payment fraud risk.


Best practices for reducing payment fraud risk


Structure your company banking accounts to minimize the risk of fraud and theft. Segregate and reconcile accounts to help safeguard your business.

Best Practices

Steps you can take to help protect yourself and your family

Online and mobile protection

Prevent fraud on our online systems

Your online and mobile environments — including systems like online banking and hardware such as smartphones, computers and servers — both protect and expose your company’s assets and information. For example, while digital transactions can greatly reduce your fraud risk, they simultaneously expose your systems to the latest threats from malware, spyware, viruses, bots and browser hijack. Ever more sophisticated hackers are forcing businesses to adapt. SVB offers online and mobile protections to help minimize your risk.

Online protection without the premium
SVB has partnered with IBM®, a leading expert in financial security, to offer IBM Security Trusteer Rapport® online fraud protection software. Trusteer Rapport works alongside your existing firewall and antivirus solutions to help protect your financial information by creating a secure transmission channel between your keyboard and SVB Online Banking. Take control of your company’s online security by downloading the free software today.

Out-of-band authentication
Authenticate, SVB’s out-of-band authentication service, helps reduce the risk of online banking fraud by requiring users to verify their identity via text message or a phone call at login when high-risk activities are being performed. Out-of-band authentication is an industry best practice because it provides a second layer of authentication in the event fraudsters gain access to your online credentials. Use Authenticate in conjunction with other fraud prevention tools such as Trusteer Rapport and recommended best practices.

Additional online best practices

  • Establish dual administration and designate at least three administrators.
  • Review online banking activity and entitlement reports regularly.
  • Prohibit ID sharing, even for view-only.
  • Use strong passwords and change them frequently.

Mobile device best practices

  • Download mobile apps from reputable sources.
  • Use mobile alerts to stay on top of business activity.
  • Employ two-factor authentication using push notifications.
  • Use strong passwords and change them frequently.

Structure accounts to minimize risk

Segregate and reconcile accounts to help safeguard your business

Protect your business assets by strategically structuring your company banking accounts to minimize the risk of fraud and theft. Preventative measures and ongoing monitoring of account activity allow you to identify fraudulent activity before it’s too late. Our experienced team can help minimize your risk of fraud by working with you to establish sound practices including account segregation and daily account monitoring.

Segregate accounts to reduce fraud
A treasury best practice to minimize fraud is segregating payment and transaction activities across multiple accounts. By designating separate bank accounts for payments to vendors and receipts from customers, for example, you avoid disruption to your revenue stream in the event your payments account is compromised. Segregation also helps limit accounts to discrete company functions, allowing you to limit the number of employees with access to any one account, and making suspicious transactions easier to identify.

Some best practices for account segregation include:

  • Segregate accounts by account type (payables and receivables).
  • Segregate accounts by payment method (ACH, check, wire).
  • Segregate accounts by purpose or function (payroll, operations).
  • Set appropriate permissions or entitlements on accounts.

Reconcile accounts to maximize oversight
Account review and formal reconciliation can help streamline operations and reduce your exposure to errors and check fraud. Best practice recommends that you monitor and review accounts daily through either a manual process or an automated solution. At a minimum, monthly reconciliations are recommended to limit irregularities and ensure accounts are kept current.

The following are additional account best practices:

  • Move excess cash from operating accounts to investment accounts, minimizing the amount of cash subject to payments fraud.
  • Use positive pay account services such as Fraud Control Services to secure check payments.
  • Outsource check printing and institute proper check stock controls.
  • Enable alerts of outgoing account transactions.

Optimize company operations

Tips for lowering risk of internal fraud

Internal processes and controls form the backbone of a secure organization, and establishing them early can ensure your company accelerates and grows with as little friction as possible. Building and communicating companywide policies and best practices can lower your risk of internal fraud, stolen funds or intellectual property, and loss of data from compromised systems.

Segregation of duties
When you involve several people in the lifespan of a single transaction, from initiation to settlement and reporting, you minimize your risk of fraud or human error. Basically, you ensure that no single person is in a position to both commit and conceal fraud or errors. Even a small company should assign different individuals to perform the front- and back-office processes for a given transaction.

Some best practices for segregation of duties include:

  • Formalize internal processes to ensure appropriate checks and balances.
  • Separate roles for initiation and approval of payments.
  • Separate accounting team.
  • Set up discrete account and security access.

Accounts payable controls
To minimize fraud, we recommend setting up strong employee controls and vendor master file access policies in accounts payable. Ensuring your employees follow established practices minimizes the risk that your company loses funds in imposter or accounts payable fraud events.

The following are additional accounts payable best practices:

  • Employ out-of-band authentication to secure account access and payments approvals
  • Limit who can add new vendors or edit the master vendor file.
  • Segregate duties so one person isn’t handling billing, payment processing and check signing.
  • Require a W-9 form from every vendor before their first invoice is paid.

Secure payments

Best practices for reducing payment fraud risk

Paper checks are a convenient payment method, one that still accounts for a major portion of financial transactions worldwide. But increasingly, they expose your business to fraud and theft. Checks are easy to duplicate because of lax security measures around their processing. Migrating to electronic payment services and tools can significantly reduce your risks and save your company the time and money involved in tracking fraud and recovering funds.

An e-payment program that works for you
Migrating to e-payments opens a wider range of strategic payment options that can help your company improve profitability and accelerate growth. Alternatives to check-based payments include:

  • Commercial credit and debit cards: Take advantage of a variety of card payment options with enhanced controls and reporting tools for procurement, travel and entertainment (T&E), and even accounts payable.
  • Virtual card numbers (VCN): Expand your use of cards without fear of overexposing your credit card number. Assign unique, virtual credit card numbers to individual transactions via a Web application or specialized client program to reduce fraud.
  • Automated Clearing House (ACH): Easily and inexpensively send and receive U.S.-based payments such as payroll deposit, vendor payments and tax payments. You can also safely accept ACH debits to your accounts with ACH block and filter options.
  • Domestic and international wires: Send real-time, immediate and irrevocable funds within the U.S. or internationally for payments to key suppliers and strategic business partners.
  • Direct file transmission: Standardize the processing of card, wire, ACH and check payments, further leveraging your investment in your ERP system.

Wire payment best practices

  • Establish internal controls, including secondary employee review and dual approval controls.
  • Confirm payment instructions over the phone for nonstandard beneficiaries or high-value payments.
  • Establish alerts to stay on top of account activities.

Paper payment best practices
Sometimes paper checks are necessary. Consider these fraud prevention best practices to lower your risk of theft:

  • Ensure Fraud Control Services are in place on all accounts to minimize check fraud.
  • Employ Check Issuance Service to limit manual check writing, loss of check stock, or theft from unauthorized check writing.
  • Use an automated wholesale lockbox to secure customer payments at receipt if you receive checks from your customers.
  • Purchase paper check stock only from reputable sources.
  • Securely store check stock, deposit slips and bank statements.
  • Employ “No Check” restrictions on business accounts for which checks will not be issued.