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Cyber Fraud - Complete Controller

It is difficult to imagine the business world before the internet since it is heavily used in today’s businesses, whether large or small. While the online environment has changed the face of business, it has also presented business owners with unique issues. These online business issues can range from internal technical difficulties to cybercrime. No matter the issue, it is vital that a business be aware of the possible problems working electronically can present and how to combat them. Here are five of the most prevalent ways cybercriminals can commit cyber fraud and how to overcome them. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Phishing

The most common type of cyber fraud is phishing, which is the seizure of a user’s data. This stealing of confidential info (passwords, personal information, and much more) gets carried out through various viruses and malicious programs. That is why you should not open attachments in emails from unknown recipients or go to different sites. Also, confidential information should not become divulged to strangers hidden as bank employees or law enforcement agencies trying to obtain the confidential data needed.

Today phishing is believed one of the most frequent types of fraud. In this case, the main purpose of scammers is to get your bank card information. To do this, they send emails, seemingly on behalf of the bank.  This plan does not mean that money will vanish instantly from the card, but the assailants will have all your data, which they can use in the future.

To protect against phishing, owners should use the same procedures to inform users that they have come to a suspicious site that may belong to defrauders. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Fake online stores

It all starts with a team of scammers who have come together. It places a copy of a well-known online store or a commercial offline system that has gained a positive reputation among consumers. Next, scammers distribute information on the system with links to the store, after which users go to the appropriate site. Of course, as a result, consumers of such a store do not receive any goods. Real organizations, whose reputation in this case suffers, have to spend a lot of time and money restoring consumer confidence. For recognizing this fraud, one should never open the website of a well-known store that is not official.

Internet begging

Different requests to help someone on the Internet are no longer surprising. Of course, it is not uncommon when help is needed. They will probably ask you to fill a form that requires your account specifics. The data can be fake, or the cheats might have changed the bank details already in the very form of the request for help. One should never provide their bank details unless they double-check the document that needs your account information. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Content blocking

This method is considered primitive, but unfortunately, it works. In this method, a strict design gets selected for the “blocking” of the notification. Targeting and localization are made directly by the user’s IP with the posted text. A lock gets made because the user used the prohibited content. The document indicates an excerpt from the relevant law and data to pay for the “unlock” of the system.

In order not to “pick up” malicious software of this kind, you should never click on links to websites of banks or other financial organizations. It is necessary to enter the address manually. Otherwise, there is a risk that you can get on a fake page that looks exactly like the original.

Trojan Encoder

The Trojan Encoder program is considered one of the most malicious ways. Such an application gets to the computer of gullible users from sites with built-in malicious code. After that, it encrypts all files on the computer and then harms the system. It can also damage the bookkeeping data on your system.

For protection, always monitor the account and connect to it SMS-banking. Do not leave personal information about yourself and your card on Internet sites, regularly update anti-virus protection, especially with the function of secure payments.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
Cloud Security Concerns - Complete Controller

The number of cloud migrations is growing every year, and security issues remain a serious topic. The first step to minimize the risks in the cloud is the timely identification of key security concerns. These issues also disturb the bookkeeping of the company. At a conference, CSA (Cloud Security Alliance) presented a list of ten threats to cloud security that organizations face, which are as follows. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Data leakage

The cloud is subject to the same concerns as traditional infrastructures. Because of the large amount of data that is now often transferred to the clouds, the cloud hosting provider sites become an attractive target for intruders. Simultaneously, the severity of potential threats directly depends on the importance of the stored data. Disclosure of personal user information, as a rule, receives less publicity than disclosure of medical reports, commercial secrets, intellectual property, which causes significant damage to the reputation of a company.

Compromising Accounts and Bypassing Authentication

Data leakage is often the result of a negligent attitude to authentication mechanisms when weak passwords are used. The management of encryption keys and certificates is inadequate. Also, organizations face managing rights and permissions when end users are assigned much higher power than needed. The issue also occurs when the user is transferred to another position or gets fired. As a result, the account contains many more features than required, which is a bottleneck in security.

Hacking Interfaces and API

Today, cloud-based services and applications are inconceivable without a user-friendly interface. The security and availability of cloud services depend on how well the mechanisms of access control, encryption in the API are developed. When interacting with a third party using their APIs, the risks increase because companies need to provide additional information, up to the user’s login and password. Weak security interfaces are becoming a bottleneck in issues of accessibility, confidentiality, integrity, and security. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

The vulnerability of the systems used

The vulnerability of the systems used is a problem that occurs in multi-tenant cloud environments. According to CSA reports, the costs spent on reducing system vulnerabilities are lower than other IT costs. A common mistake when using cloud solutions in the IaaS model, companies pay insufficient attention to the security of their applications, which are located in the security infrastructure of the cloud provider.

Account theft

Phishing and other fraud are often present in the cloud environment. This fraud adds concerns in the form of attempts to manipulate transactions and modify data. Attackers consider cloud platforms as a field for committing attacks. And even compliance with the strategy of “protection in depth” may not be sufficient. It is necessary to prohibit the “sharing” of user accounts and services and pay attention to multifactor authentication mechanisms.

Insiders and Intruders

Insider threats can come from current or former employees, system administrators, contractors, or business partners. Insider-attackers pursue different goals, ranging from data theft to the desire to revenge. In the case of a cloud, the goal may be to destroy the infrastructure, gain access wholly or partially to data, and so on. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Targeted Cyberattacks

A developed sustainable threat, or targeted cyber attack, is, at this time, not uncommon. Having sufficient knowledge and a set of relevant tools, an individual can achieve results. The malefactor, who set out to establish and consolidate his presence in the target infrastructure, is not easy to detect.

Permanent Data Loss

Since the clouds have matured enough, cases with loss of data without recovery due to the service provider are sporadic. At the same time, intruders, knowing about the consequences of permanent data deletion, aim to commit such destructive actions. Cloud hosting providers to comply with security measures recommend separating user data from these applications, saving them in different locations.

Insufficient Awareness

Organizations that move into the cloud without understanding cloud capabilities face risks. If, for example, the client-side development team is not familiar with the cloud technology features and the principles of deploying cloud applications, operational and architectural problems arise.

Abuse of Cloud Services

Legitimate and illegitimate organizations can use clouds. The latter’s goal is to use cloud resources to commit malicious acts: launching DDoS attacks, sending spam, distributing malicious content, etc. Service providers need to be able to recognize such participants. Study traffic in detail and use cloud monitoring tools.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
Internet Fraud - Complete Controller

If you check your spam tray, you are likely to find hundreds of messages from supposed banks or online stores that will ask you to verify your account, threatening that it could be canceled. Other messages can tell you that you have won a prize and you must provide your bank details to receive it. In short, there are hundreds of ways criminals seek to get your personal information online. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

This type of fraud is known as phishing, a modification of the English word fishing (fishing) because what they are looking for is to function as bait to try to catch a victim. What happens with these messages is that they contain links to fraudulent sites or have software that will allow criminals to access information on your devices. Once you arrive at these sites, they are usually almost identical to those of your bank or store in which you have previously purchased, so you enter your data without worrying without knowing that in minutes you will be victims of a robbery. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

What is Phishing?

It is a cyber breach in which hackers contacted targets via email, telephone, or text message. They pose themselves as a legal institution to drag attraction to theft their sensitive data. Personal information includes identifiable details, banking, credit cards, and passwords. After that, they access important accounts with the help of that stolen information. As a result, the digital platform owner will suffer from identity theft and financial loss. Legally, a phishing lawsuit enforced a Californian teenager who made the restrictions of the American website online. He stole sensitive information with this fake site and reached the credit card details to steal the money from their accounts. There other cybercrime techniques such as Vishing (voice phishing), smishing ( SMS phishing ), etc.

How to protect yourself from phishing?

Fortunately, it is remarkably simple to do so. The golden rule is never to enter links that appear in an unknown email and much less those that request to enter your private information. If you receive a message that you think is suspicious, go directly to the page of your bank from the search engine or communicate by phone. This way, you avoid the risk of going to a fake page. There are other very important tips: Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

  • Remember that banks never send urgent emails derived from security processes. Nor do they send emails where they request our passwords and passwords for any reason.
  • Please pay attention to the address that appears in the address bar, and make sure that it corresponds to that of your bank. Sometimes these links send you to identical pages, but the address of the bar does not correspond. They are usually addressing sites where one can create a personal web page or free web hosting.
  • Verify that the page is secure and check what security certificates you have. Confirm that the Internet address begins with https: and that at the bottom of your browser, there is a lock icon that indicates that the page is safe to transmit our data in it. Otherwise, your information will travel publicly. Verify what encryption protocol this portal has (it must be at least 128 bits) and its certificates.
  • Never carry out transactions in cybercafes or other public computers as your information may be recorded. Nor through free Wi-Fi networks because someone else could be seeing your information.
  • Always use a firewall as well as programs that verify the non-existence of spyware (spyware) on your computer.
  • Have strong passwords (with more than eight characters, other than dictionary words, including uppercase, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols).
  • Change your access codes frequently.
  • Remember that your password must be unique for each website, and it must be secure.
  • Usually, hackers send emails by masked. They appear when they send emails through the recipient business. You should update your account within a specific time duration. Otherwise, the bank will not send a message for your data through email. Then, it will suspend your account. Also, financial institutions typically offer account numbers or other private information within the emails. Only make sure either it is coming from a reliable source or not.

 

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
Intellectual Property Protection - Complete Controller

Whether you are the leader of a multinational corporation or preparing to launch a small business startup, safeguarding your intellectual property should be at the top of your business’s priority list. Data is becoming more easily accessible and distributable, thus making it more susceptible to theft and replication. What can you do to secure your IP? Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

What is Intellectual Property?

First, let us define the term “intellectual property” so that you may comprehend all that it includes. Intellectual Property is defined as any product or process that results from innovative and creative thought.

Many different types of IPs are involved in a business. Other than the product itself, the intellectual property also refers to anything that works to bring this idea to life. Intellectual property can include various types of artwork, marketing content, graphics, websites, articles, blogs, and computer programs. Even the company name and logo and the training material can be identified as IP and anything else personally created to aid the business.

Your company’s valuable ideas and hard work must be kept safe. The good news is there are laws in place that can help keep your IP secure. Below we will establish your intellectual property rights and describe the steps you will need to take in order to protect against IP theft. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Keep Your Business Ideas Secret

Until you have sufficiently protected your intellectual property, avoid talking about it with others and be careful who you trust.  Never promote your idea when in public. Your business idea should be treated as a sensitive topic. Unfortunately, there are people out there who only want to benefit their own business and will steal your ideas.

If this is not possible, you can speak to a lawyer and have those closest to you sign a personalized non-disclosure agreement or contract. This includes your current business partners. Be very careful who you allow access to your IP and make sure that nobody can use it without your consent.

The good news is that there are federal and state laws in place to secure your intellectual property. Oftentimes startups will lose their IP rights because they feel the process is complicated and expensive.  It is very important that you do not ignore important tasks to guard your inventive designs and ideas.

Types of IP Protection

Until you have officially registered your IP, anyone can take it and use it for themselves. The three most well-known types of IP and those recognized by the federal intellectual property law are as follows:

Patents: Prevents others from selling or marketing another company’s invention.

Trademarks: Prevents others from using your business logos and graphics.

Copyrights: Protects written works from being copied. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

As soon as you finalize your business name and/or logo for your project, register those trademarks immediately. Technology startups sometimes ignore the worth of non-patented intellectual property. These types are also commercially valuable, and a business owner should rigorously protect them as well:

Trade Secrets: A process that is unique to the product or business, such as a method or a secret formula.

Expert Knowledge: If a company obtains exclusive rights over an expert’s knowledge, it too can be considered intellectual property.

A world expert on statistics consults with a financial company to help improve risk analysis software. The financial company can seek exclusive rights over that statistical knowledge so that they alone have access to the information provided and can use it to produce and improve their software.  

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important to know how to protect what is lawfully yours and know who to trust. You probably already have much more IP than you know. Protecting your intellectual property comes with the privilege and responsibility of finding a competent advocate to help you invest in an  Intellectual Property Portfolio for your business now so that you can have a rewarding future.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
Protecting Your Privacy Online - Complete Controller

Protecting your privacy from hackers and spies is no easy task. Smart cybercriminals would go to any extremes to hurt individuals and companies financially. Cybersecurity has become a serious issue these days as criminal minds have been inventing and coming up with new ways to steal sensitive information that will lead them to personal and financial gains. With an increased success rate of cybercriminals activities for hackers and scammers, many people are finding hacking a lucrative career path and a steppingstone towards faster growth and success.

The internet, which is a blessing these days, can also be a dangerous place to share your personal and business information. Privacy has, become a rare commodity these days, and companies can no longer claim to have 100% cybersecurity or secured systems and networks. Malicious apps and malware software, dangerous viruses, and phishing scams are growing in number, and companies have little or no clue what to do to secure their networks. If we specifically talk about data breaches and identity theft, they become commonplace, creating real risks to your privacy. Here are some cybersecurity tips to help you protect your privacy online. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

What Cybercriminals Look For?

Hackers, scammers, spies, or other online criminals want valuable data. This data includes bank details, bookkeeping records, credit card numbers, email addresses, home addresses, vendor details, stakeholders’ details, birth dates, past financial records, and more. They will exploit any opportunity at hand and make individuals and companies pay for their lack of cyber or online security. The main reason why cybercriminals can easily break into your accounts is due to outdated operating systems, networks, or browsers.

Protecting your privacy against cybercriminals is mandatory for every individual and company regardless of the size, scale, and location. The two of the most common reasons cybercriminals desire to steal data are 1) blackmailing, where personal data is stolen for personal interests, and 2) extortion, where individual or company data is held for ransom.

Here are the tips for protecting your privacy from hackers and spies, which means online security needs to be duly tracked, updated, and embraced to prevent cybercriminal activities. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Minimize Your Digital Presence

Sharing too much data on social media and the internet can be dangerous for you. According to experts, it can pose potential threats to not only individuals but also to companies. Sharing personal information and tweeting too much about your day-round activities can turn into a disaster. Recently, a story about a young girl who some crazy pedophile had followed tweeted about being home alone and being attacked took the internet and social media by storm.

This post made worldwide headlines making people aware of the dark side of the internet. So, this fun-loving and socially interactive activity can be dangerous, which needs to be minimized and stopped right away for one’s safety and the sake of online security. To cut a long story short, restrict your online presence and not give anyone personal information before verifying their legitimacy and credentials. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Keep Your Systems and Networks Updated

Giving easy grounds to cybercriminals means letting go of your personal and business information to online criminals without showing any resistance. There is no denying the fact that outdated systems and networks are vulnerable to cyber threats. One thing is clear. They cannot prevent cybercriminals from entering your servers due to obsolete software and firewalls.

So, you need to keep online security in check and keep all system software updated, encrypt your wireless network, and have firewall software that will oppose spyware and phishing attacks and, most importantly, malicious viruses attacking your servers.

Implement Strict Password Policies

By establishing a code and implementing strict password policies, you can expect to elevate your online security. In today’s world, where protecting your privacy has become an extremely challenging task, strictness in implementing password policies can help prevent data leakages and keep cybercriminals away from breaking into your system and networks.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
Cloud Hosting - Complete Controller

The modern era has seen some amazing enhancements, innovations, and changes. This is especially true in the lives of the millions who are connected to the internet. People, markets, and businesses have evolved in their processes, thinking patterns have changed, and overall behavior has also been modified when it comes to innovation and technological advancements. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

With the invention of the internet, life changed gradually to a fast-paced run: research, technology, and development. Industries and marketplaces have gradually changed to heighten and charge up the environment for healthy but fierce competition. Information technology solutions like cloud hosting have even helped it grow and flourish for the benefit of more than just the business.

It is the fundamental right in nature of everything to improve to thrive. Also, it may otherwise face extinction but put that thought aside! The web and its global village effects have made it an ideal instrument for more than just sharing or downloading mp3s. Its vast practical application and usage have led to smarter thinking, which encompasses the internet as a world where anything and everything is possible. Some say that’s scary, and it’s true, and things can get unpredictably complicated without precautionary measures, think cloud hosting. It is a tool of vital essence that helped shape the future, and who knows what’s next. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

What is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting is the provision of powerful abilities of virtual servers facilitating users for all their computing needs. This ability is drawn from an underlying and unseen network of physical servers, all based on the web. One of many great things about the cyber world, if you have the tools, work can get done. Long gone are the days of the typical office setup where professionals would hassle together to work as a team. There are supercomputers out there that help many professionals of various industries like web design, web development, and application development. Some aspects of cryptocurrency and block-chain concepts rely on cloud hosting as well. 

How Does it Work?

There are two forms of cloud hosting known as public and private clouds. They differ in purpose and usage, depending on what the requirement is.

Public Cloud Hosting

Public cloud hosting uses power derived from virtual servers’ resources, which themselves are on publically available virtual servers. It relies on an already data communication set on a public network and can transmit data that can be stored on a cloud resource shared by many other servers. This form of cloud hosting requires enhanced security measures for all data that needs to be kept private. It enables encryption of data and is enough for most of the needs of users. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Private Cloud Hosting

Private cloud hosting is important for places where security is a major concern. It caters to needs where privacy is of the utmost essence and security has to be fool-proof. Private clouds provide ring-fenced resources like networks and servers either onsite or with a cloud provider.

Clustered services where resources can be found on multiple servers, but cloud hosting uses networks of servers that are vast and from various locations. There are two classifications called Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud hosting.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Platform as a Service user is provided software to install, create, and develop web applications immediately. Also, it’s not as sophisticated as the IaaS version and is suitable for non-proficient users.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure as a Service user is given resources to install their software and tools for whichever environment they choose to build any web application. It is customizable and appropriate for organizations with complicated IT needs and Infrastructure.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
Credit Card fraud - Complete Controller

Since credit and debit cards are so widely used as a primary form of payment, they are subject to use for fraud and identity theft. Because of this wide usage, people have become relaxed in how they handle their credit and debit cards, and it has left them vulnerable to the consequences of that relaxed attitude. However, if you focus on being more aware of the possibilities of fraud and identity theft, you can protect yourself against it. Here are seven ways you can protect yourself from fraud or identity theft through your credit card. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Credit Card Skimmers

Credit card skimmers have become a widely used way of stealing your debit or credit card information and using it for purchases or to steal your identity. The thief will use a skimmer placed over the card reader on an unprotected ATM or gas pump. Because these devices are made to look so much like the real thing, most people don’t notice any difference, and when they swipe their card, it will store the information on the skimmer. To further the sense of security, the ATM or gas pump will still operate as normal without the victim ever being aware their information has been compromised.

To avoid this, you should always go inside the store if you are buying gas or using ATMs inside and visible to a store employee or a guard. If you have no choice but to use an outside and unprotected ATM or gas pump, check the reader thoroughly before using it. If it looks unusual, don’t use it.

Credit Card Theft

Some thieves still operate the old-fashioned way and take your debit or credit card from you. To protect someone swiping your card from you, you should go out of your way to make that impossible, or at least difficult enough that the would-be thief will leave you alone.

Ensure that if you are going to carry a credit card, you only carry one with you at a time if you have more than one. If your wallet is stolen, you only have to deal with one credit card and not all of them. You should also carry your card in a place that can’t be easily gotten to by a would-be thief. Whether it be in your purse or an inside pocket, you should be focused on protecting your card. When using your card to make a purchase, especially at a restaurant, keep your eyes on your card even if they step away from the table to charge it. The main thing to remember is that you should always be aware of your debit or credit card when you are in public. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Credit Card Receipts

When using your credit or debit cards to make a purchase, the receipt is just as important as the card itself. After you have made the purchase, carefully review the receipt and make sure no full credit card information is on it. You should also never sign a blank receipt. If any blanks could have an amount in them, such as tips, make sure you mark through it if it’s blank or check that you put the correct amount for the tip in the blank. Make sure that you write the tip and the total yourself. After the waitstaff has returned your credit card, do not leave it at the table once you sign the receipt. Make sure you hand the receipt to your waitperson.

Credit Card Information

If you must provide your credit card information over the phone, you should keep a few things in mind. First, never give your credit card information to someone who calls you. If you cannot verify that they are a bill collector or someone from a creditor, you should never give your credit card information to them. If you call to pay a bill or order something over the phone, be careful. It is sometimes necessary that you give your credit card information over the phone. However, be careful of who you give it to. As much as possible, do not use phone services in which a human being will be taking your credit card information—always try to use automated services.

Credit Card Online Usage

When using your credit card online, you should still keep some things in mind to protect your credit card. First, only use secure sites. While every site is vulnerable to hacking, secure sites are less likely to fall prey to it. If you are on a public or unsecured network, you should never be using your credit card online during those times. When on a public network, anyone else on that network, who has even low-level hacking skills, can use those skills to steal your credit card information.

If you receive an email requesting your credit card information, you should never use the link provided in the email. If it is legitimate that you need to pay a bill or for some service or product, you should go to the site on your own and not through an email link unless you have prearranged to receive that link. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Lost or Stolen Credit Card

It should go without saying that you should immediately report a lost or stolen card when you become aware of it missing. If you have misplaced your card, give yourself a bit of time to find it, but if you haven’t found it in that timeframe, you should immediately be calling your bank to protect yourself. Many cards and banks can freeze your card by simply going online and accessing your account. If your bank offers this option, you should do it immediately while you search for your card. If you cannot find your card, then call and have it replaced.

Credit Card Statement

Information is king. Therefore, you should always be aware of what is on your credit card statement. Through most banking websites and apps, you can check your balance and activity multiple times a day. You should be checking your activity and balance daily, especially because it is so convenient.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
Deed Fraud - Complete Controller

Imagine you have a home that you own free and clear, then one day you get a knock on your door and find out you are being evicted. There is a new type of fraud that is becoming more widely done by criminals. Deed fraud and title theft are rising at an alarming rate, and those that have a deed need to take steps to protect themselves. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

The Problem

As real estate owners and business experts, we understand the significance of regular upkeep, property insurance, and other regular tasks intended to protect the value of what is, for many of us, our most significant asset. Recent stories in several states indicate that people from all walks of life have discovered that they are no longer the home or real estate owner they knew to be theirs. This can be every property type, from a home to a business or any other property with a title.

How can this type of fraud occur? This is especially difficult to answer when purchases of real estate require identity safeguards that fall under regulations. The protocols in place were intended to ensure that transfers are valid and the title’s chain is preserved. For honest owners, the constraints might seem unnecessary and inconvenient steps to take. However, despite these steps, some criminals can get past them and take over your home. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Deed Basics

All fifty states and the District of Columbia require written documents to transfer real estate property ownership. A review of the requirements show that the following must be on the deed:

  • A title stating the nature of the document
  • The name of the property owner of record
  • A granting clause that states the owners intent to convey the property to the buyer
  • The purchaser’s name
  • A detailed, formal description of the property
  • The signature and printed name of the grantor or an authorized representative
  • An acknowledgment by a notarial officer

Forgery

Forgery is the act of illegally making a false document or altering the original document to be used as if not false. Forgery is a criminal offense in the US and, in many states, is a high-degree misdemeanor or even a felony. The criminal charges depend on the details of the crime, including the amount and the document’s nature; forging deeds generally leads to a high-level offense.

Most fraudulent deeds contain more than one forged detail, and in some cases, each separate detail carries a charge. The owner or an authorized person must sign all authentic property deeds so that a fraudulent document may have a fake signature. A fraudster may pose as the real estate owner and sign the deed in a notary presence. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Public Records

If the forged deed containing all the forged and fraudulent information is entered into the public record, the fraudster can now perpetuate the forged deed easily. Once that junk data is in circulation, it becomes an additional issue because now it can be accessed as a real estate purchase, mortgage, title search, and credit check, all the while coming across as authentic.

Risk Factors

Anyone who holds a deed can become a victim of title theft or title fraud, but knowing it can go a long way in preventing it. There are companies that you can pay a monthly fee to monitor activity specifically relating to your deed. Or you can check it regularly to ensure it is still in your name and has the correct information on it.

If you have any elderly family or friends who own their home, you need to protect them against this type of fraud. You also need to keep an eye on documents of your family or loved ones who have passed away because it is common for these criminals to watch for obituaries so they can take over the deeds of the deceased’s properties.

Victims

If you become a victim of title theft, you should contact authorities immediately and quickly gather all the documents and prove that you are the property’s true owner. The key is to act fast when it comes to this type of theft because if you don’t discover you are a victim until you are being evicted from your own home, it could be very difficult to reverse the fraud.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
Corruption in Your Business - Complete Controller

If you own your own business, you probably know the ways in which a brand can be subject to corruption. However, with several people working under you, it may be hard to spot the root of the discrepancy and how deep it runs. Your most trusted bookkeeper could be cooking the books right under your nose, and you may never suspect it!

One of the most common sources of fraud is theft. This may come in the form of stealing cash, embezzlement, and misappropriation of cash, inventory, or other physical assets. All

these transgressions are severe and can threaten the life of your business, as well as have legal ramifications. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

However, frauds are most witnessed in small to medium-sized businesses due to the lack of proper security checkups and fraud-proofed operation systems. Also supporting this claim is the fact that in a small business, usually, only one person is responsible for the bookkeeping and accounting functions. They are single-handedly entrusted with receiving cash, payments, payroll tracking expenses, paying bills, bank deposits, and more! Being able to work privately and on their own, a bookkeeper may be tempted to involve themselves in fraud or embezzlement.

 

If you are constantly on edge and confused as to why your business is not bringing in more profits, despite all your efforts, chances are your brand is being corrupted by your own employees. Read our signs to watch out for, as well as ways to protect your business from fraud.

Detect the Signs for Corruptions 

With every business, there is always a chance of corruption. However, detecting corruption in a small business can be relatively simple. Possible signs that may indicate fraud, theft, or embezzlement in the business are most often apparent. It is important to pay close attention to signs of potential corruption and dig deeper to find the root. One such way you can achieve this is by keeping a closer eye on your trusted employees to avoid any fraud. Money makes people do some crazy things. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Study Your Accounting Statements

Studying your accounting statements is crucial to saving your company from corruption. However, to do an accurate assessment, you must have a basic understanding of what you are looking at. It may be a good idea to do some research about your financial statements. Understanding how the statements work and what they are saying is necessary for finding potential corruption.

Maintain a System of Checks and Balances Among Your Employees

Be sure to keep a system of checks and balances within your staff. Sure, you trust them. Still, it is of the utmost importance to audit their work regularly to ensure compliance. By doing this, you will stay current with your financial affairs, as well as reduce corruption.

Look for any Excessive transactions Taking Place

Excessive spending by employees is not conducive to financial stability. Scrutinizing the spending habits of your employees is an excellent way to avoid corruption.

Keep all the Cameras on

Today, most offices have cameras in almost every nook and cranny to protect the business from theft, inappropriate behavior, time-wasting, etc. Keep these cameras on during and after the shift to ensure safety and prevent fraud. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Avoid Late Working

In most companies, an employee who stays late to finish the job is appreciated and praised. However, having the office all to themselves may contribute to corruption. For this reason, it is recommended to advise against being alone in the office.

Advance into Technology – Use Accounting Software

Whether you use electronic systems for your accounting or do the bookkeeping manually on a register, take great care to ensure there are no discrepancies. Your financial statements should match every cash flow statement and balance sheet of the accounts.

However, due to human error, consider investing in software to manage your books. This may help in preventing fraud and increasing efficiency.

Make Auditing a Routine Practice

As stated above, delegating the accounting to only one person may open doors to corruption and fraud. However, if this is the way it must be for your business, make it a practice to audit your own accounts regularly. This will promote a culture of honesty and integrity.

Conclusion

There you have it! You have just read some of the most practical ways of detecting corruption in your business. Use them to your advantage and remember, there is nothing wrong with being vigilant. It is your business and, therefore, your neck on the line!  

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
Credit Card Fraud - Complete Controller

Over the past decade, debit and credit card use has been the number one way consumers make purchases, pay bills, and make security deposits. Due to plastic being the primary form of payment, credit card fraud is at an all-time high. This high amount of fraud means you have to protect yourself against it. Here are nine ways to protect yourself against credit card fraud.

Protect Your Credit Card

Protecting your credit card may seem obvious, but surprisingly most credit cardholders fail to do so. Make sure you place it in a wallet, purse, or bag that is held close to your body and not easily grabbed. If possible, put it in a small purse or wallet that can be concealed. Don’t carry all your cards with you simultaneously. Only take one or two debit or credit cards with you and leave others behind. This will ensure that if a thief does manage to snatch your purse or wallet, they won’t have all your debit or credit cards. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

When you use your card, make sure you conceal it as much as possible and pay attention to your surroundings. Some thieves will take a photo of your card and use the number for online purchases. Once you make a purchase, conceal your card as soon as possible.

Shred Credit Card Documents

Whether it is a billing statement or credit card receipt, once you no longer need the document, it is essential to shred it rather than throwing it away. Also, make sure you shred old cards when they expire. Often a new credit or debit card will have the same number with a new expiration date. The key is to ensure anything you are disposing of that has your credit card number on it must be destroyed before throwing away.

Never Sign Blank Credit Card Receipts

Not signing a blank credit card receipt may sound like an obvious no, no, but again, sometimes we are busy or distracted and will mindlessly sign anything put in front of us. Make sure you read anything you sign that is related to your debit or credit card. If you are at a restaurant and tip cash, make sure you write a zero or put a line in the blank and write the total yourself or write “No Tip” or “Cash” in the blank. Even if you do write in a tip, make sure you provide the total and write the amounts so that they cannot be doctored into another amount. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Don’t Give Out Credit Card Information

It is sometimes necessary to provide your credit or debit card number over the phone. First, never do so in public. If you have no choice, make sure you go to a private area and ensure no one is listening. Second, if you didn’t initiate the call, never give your card information to the caller, even if they claim to be a bill collector. If you think it is a legitimate entity, ask for their website and how you can make a payment online.

Be Safe Online

Never click on links in emails claiming to be your credit card company, bank, or another payment platform. If you receive an email that looks like it is from one of your banking or payment institutions claiming there is an issue with your card or account, go to their site or app and check your account after your secure login. This type of fraud is called phishing. It is used to capture your debit or credit card information or get your login and password. Also, when using your card online, ensure the site is secure. You can see if it is a secure site by looking at the URL or address bar on the site. If you see a padlock in the status or address bar, the site is secure.

Report Lost or Stolen Credit Cards

If your credit or debit card is stolen, immediately call the card holding company and cancel the card. If you think you merely misplaced the card and don’t want to have to deal with replacing the card or cards, many credit card companies and banks have an option to freeze the account. This freezing of the account will also allow the company to recognize fraudulent use and contact you if an attempt to use your card is made. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Check Your Statement Regularly

Unauthorized charges on your credit card are the first sign of credit card fraud. Some banking institutions or credit card holding companies will alert the cardholder to unusual activity. However, this cannot be counted on to catch fraud early. It is suggested that you check your banking or credit card statements daily. Though this may not avoid fraud, it will allow the fraud to be caught early and minimize any damage before it becomes overwhelming.

Create Diverse Passwords

Most people use the same passwords for all of their online activities. You must create complicated and unpredictable passwords for any site where your credit card is stored and make it different for every site. Also, never keep your passwords in an easy to locate or access place. Password diversity and security is vital to avoiding credit card fraud.

Watch for Credit Card Skimmers

A more recent and popular debit or credit card fraud is thieves employing the use of skimmers. A skimmer overlays the card reader of gas pumps and ATMs. It will not affect your ability to complete a transaction or purchase; however, the skimmer retains your credit card information and pin. To avoid this credit or debit card fraud, use bank ATMs, and be wary if the reader slot looks unusual. To prevent the possibility of a skimmer used on a gas pump, pay inside if you must use the reader on the pump, look at it closely and be wary if it seems out of place or unusual.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers