Posts Tagged ‘Fraud’

Online Business Banking #FTW

April 7, 2011 3 comments

I was watching a recent episode of MSNBC’s “Your Business”.  In this particular one, they had a segment about embezzlement at a bookstore in Fairhope, AL.  Apparently, the bookkeeper embezzled over $100,000 over a two year period.  She used her position to hide bank statements, double pay herself, and write checks to pay her personal bills instead of vendors.

The owners mentioned that because they were so busy trying to keep the business afloat, they were lax in following up on the financial health of their business. Now, I was confused as to why they didn’t regularly meet with the bookkeeper.  They also never had an audit performed by an outside agency.  But their biggest issue? They didn’t have online business banking.

What gave it away was the part about never seeing their bank statements.  With online banking, they would have known within 60 days that something was wrong.  They could have also seen their check images and received alerts about wires and balance thresholds.  Such a simple service could have saved them a lot of heartache and alerted them to problems.

Merry Shopping

November 26, 2010 2 comments

If you were looking for an argument that would allow you to skip contactless cards and go straight to mobile payments, look no further.  It seems that enterprising people are really using RFID readers to steal credit card information as people walk by.

Here’s how RFID works: when the card reaches a certain distance from an electronic scanner or card reader, it sends a signal which is received by an antenna embedded into the card, which is connected to the card’s RFID chip, thus activating it.

Criminals are able to do the same by walking close to your wallet or purse. A hand held chip reading device can easily steal your credit card information if someone walks by you or inches close enough to you.

You can read more here.

Mobile Banking To The Rescue

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment


So, I was headed home from work this evening and decided to stop at a local restaurant for some takeout.  After placing my order, I then paid with my handy-dandy First Federal debit card.  After receiving my food, I headed on home to enjoy my meal.

When I settled in to eat my dinner, I checked my phone to see what alerts came in from mobile banking.  I saw two debit alerts, one that matched a purchase I made earlier, and one that didn’t look familiar.  It seems that what I thought I paid for my meal was not matching the alert I received.

I then logged onto online banking and saw the debit description for the restaurant.  It seems that the cashier added a dollar tip that I didn’t remember giving.

I guess he didn’t know that: #1 I get SMS alerts on my debit card and #2 I work for the bank.  Tomorrow morning, they will most likely lose out on the transaction altogether.

So what have we learned?  SMS alerts can help protect you against fraudulent charges; and small business owners may want to be a little more honest with all this technology in consumers’ hands.


The restaurant adjusted their credit charges at the end of night.  So I ended up being charged the correct amount.

Photo by Skokie