How Salespeople Can Protect Themselves from Fraudsters

Salespeople like you work with financial and social transactions all the time. In handling these two aspects of your job, you need to have a good grasp of their common risks, chief of which is fraud. To give you an idea, one episode of this security threat can cost industries hundreds of thousands of dollars. In real estate alone, the median amount lost per fraud case is $200,000.

With the state cybersecurity is in, you have a personal duty to follow news on how fraudsters commit their crime, as well as ways to keep them at bay. Here are three major steps to take if you want to get ahead of these problem givers:

Take the problem of fraud personally

Given your goals to generate demand and close deals, it seems that fraud and security are outside your scope of responsibilities. Isn’t the IT department in charge of these?

Indeed, we are talking about technical problems. Yet in your line of work, it is impossible not to be tethered to multiple forms of technology. Something as simple as a phone call can be used to manipulate you into giving confidential details about yourself or, just as important to protect, your clients. This scenario is an example of social engineering, which can be employed by fraudsters at will. Fraudulent activities are not limited to data being stolen from you. There exist fake transactions that are meant to deceive you into giving away your products or services to cyber criminals for free.

A Securities and Exchange Commission staff member once said this:

“What makes a person commit a fraud? It is individuals after all, who commit fraud. At the core of all fraud, even fraud by large corporate entities, there are decisions and actions by individuals.As such, the decision to bend or to break the rules is an innately personal one. So, my question, what makes a person commit fraud — is relevant in every instance.”

If anything, the first point is about asking you to review your stance with regard to fraud risk management.

Use available tools to protect yourself

An arsenal of anti-fraud tools does not have to be complicated or expensive. Here are three examples to get you started:

  • CVV and AVS are two important security features to ensure authentic credit and debit card transactions. During a purchase, Visa and Mastercard users are prompted to give their CVV, a three-digit code printed on a card’s signature panel. To strengthen verification, the Address Verification System of AVS crosschecks the billing address of the user with the address on file at the credit card company.
  • ID authentication is another fraud solution and is designed for mobile commerce. Through this feature, you can prevent users from submitting false information about themselves. Here, some electric authentication is required such as asking users to provide legal ID cards upon registration.
  • Another useful tool is device ID. Usually, a dedicated mobile app detects and stops robocalls, so you can avoid becoming a bait to scammers’ methods. At the same time, a more advanced app will let you know whether an incoming call from an unknown number is safe or not. In other words, it helps identifies the number’s owner, affiliation, and address to ensure the call’s legitimacy.

This infographic shows you the different anti-fraud solutions that the mobile commerce industry had access to in 2017.

Infographic courtesy of HubSpot

Conduct due diligence at all times

A good potential client will conduct necessary background checks to ensure they are dealing with a legitimate company. As someone who stands on the other end, you also need to employ a critical eye when reviewing a deal, especially if it is a big-ticket one. Sometimes, this includes reading the fine print, visiting the prospect’s address, asking questions to clarify things, and knowing about common customer scam tricks.

Do due diligence while being respectful at all times. If your organization has security guidelines in place, apply them with sensitivity to the other party. You don’t want to make them feel you are suspecting them of fraud. After all, you are the one who is asking them to give your products or services a chance. Once you have verified your contact, make sure to also provide them with correct details about your company. It is a give-and-take relationship.