Protecting Yourself from Fraud
Sometimes as business owners we feel we are in a battle. It might be between you and a vendor, or you and a customer, or you and an employee. Regardless we all need resources to help us succeed. We (HR Ledger®) turn to the three Payroll Associations we belong to and the Better Business Bureau as well as the California Employer Advisory Council for guidance. Most recently we found help from the IRS, believe it or not.
Fraud has become a major issue in our industry. Your and my battles now include ones against criminals. We belong to a working group at the IRS focused on the Payroll Industry. Much of our conversations are about tax filings, ACA, data schema’s, legal interpretations, all exciting stuff, right? However, we just concluded a call which included their cybercrimes experts. They recommend the following for business owners and to instruct employees:
- Do not click on links within emails that you are not 100% positive of the source.
- Do not publish personal email addresses on websites, use forms which forward to internal addresses.
- Verify the authority of each requests for data which includes Non-Public Information. Have a validation system in place which protects the information of clients, vendors, and employees.
- Review the email address of each request for information. This includes banks, software companies, your payroll service, ANYBODY. Microsoft.connect.com is not a valid address for Microsoft. Southwwesternpayroll.com is not a valid address for southwesternpayroll.com (notice the double w’s). These are attempts to gain information or cooperation from you.
- Know that according to the IRS there are active scams working to extract payroll information from not only payroll service providers but their clients. Be suspect of each request for information.
As I send you forth into the world of commerce, be careful out there.
To help, we also have three publications:
1) Protecting Personal Information, A Guide for Business
2) Careful Connections, Building Security in the Internet of Things, and
3) Data Breach Response, a Guide for Business
– we are happy to send you.