As our lives become more and more intertwined with the internet, I see no end to the creative schemes employed to embezzle funds from individuals and businesses. It is more important than ever to keep watch over your on-line presence and to act quickly when you suspect fraud.
As an example, I just worked with a client who received notice of delinquency from the Small Business Administration on a loan that they never obtained. Someone posed as them, forged the loan documents and made off with the loan proceeds. To make it worse, they discovered a lien filed against their company for this fraudulent loan. Fortunately, we were able to act quickly to use procedures available under Michigan law to terminate the lien filing.
In the last 2 months, I worked with a client whose large check was stolen from their contractor’s premises. It was deposited into a bank account set up by the thief. While the contactor will likely recover from its insurer or the bank that dealt with the thief, they will be without their money for several months.
Another client called about a wire transfer. They asked a vendor for wire instructions. Someone intercepted the message and sent fake wire instructions, resulting in funds being wired to the wrong account.
What is the lesson learned from these situations: check your insurance for coverage, check your procedures for handling funds, verify wire instructions and act quickly when something appears amiss. At Cunningham Dalman, PC, we work with clients to minimize the risk of cyber fraud and recover from it.