B2B Payments

Corporates See Loan Fraud By Insiders As Growing Threat

Pandemic-related fraud attempts continue to climb.

In a report by OpenText, researchers found that one-quarter of Americans was targeted in a coronavirus-related phishing email attempt, and more than three-quarters said they have opened emails from unknown senders. Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents agree that phishing emails look more legitimate than ever before.

That's not only bad news for individuals, however. Businesses can be just as targeted, if not more so than the average consumer.

"Businesses and consumers must prioritize cyber resilience and recognize that it is everyone's responsibility to protect their data," said OpenText CEO and Chief Technology Officer Mark J. Barrenechea in a statement.

This week's B2B Data Digest looks at the latest figures behind such fraud targeting corporate finance teams.

21 percent of business leaders say payment authorization and authentication are requirements when choosing a treasury management platform, a report by Citizens Commercial Banking found. According to the report, business leaders are more concerned about data security than ever before, citing the pandemic as one factor behind the fears.

"Business leaders are working from home more due to the pandemic, and it is exposing some technology gaps that their systems may have had," said Citizens Bank Head of Treasury Solutions Michael Cummins in a statement. "They are very concerned about data security, and they want self-service capabilities so they can customize their systems to fit their routines and work more efficiently."

45 percent of U.S. employees surveyed expect to spend 15 minutes per month on cybersecurity training by mid-2021, a report by Osterman Research, sponsored by MediaPRO, revealed. That's a significant increase from 26 percent that said the same of mid-2020, but according to researchers, this doesn't necessarily mean that organizations will be more protected.

While security and IT professionals are enthusiastic about such training, the average employee is not necessarily convinced that such training is important, let alone useful against cyberattacks and fraud attempts.

"Security awareness training doesn't do anyone any good if they sleep through it," said MediaPRO Chief Strategist Lisa Plaggemier in a statement. "You can deliver the best security advice in the world, but if no one is listening, you might as well be talking to a brick wall."

57 individuals have been charged with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud, according to Reuters reported. Federal officials filed the charges and are accusing the individuals of stealing $175 million from the PPP. According to the report, as many as 500 people have been identified by the government as having potentially committed fraud.

While much of the focus of B2B fraud typically lands on external actors, concerns about PPP fraud may raise awareness of some bad actors within the enterprise looking to steal money via loan fraud or other types of scams.

$1.49 million was stolen from one company via accounts payable (AP) fraud, the Chicago Tribune reported. According to the publication, an individual has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for abusing his ability to approve of invoices for payment at his former employer, Driscoll's, based in California. The charges were filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office Northern District of California.

The charged "was informed that he had the authority to approve invoices of up to $250,000 by virtue of his director-level status at Driscoll's," officials told the publication. "Within weeks, [he] started abusing that authority by submitting and approving false invoices from a fake business called TNC US Inc. and routing the payments to a shell J.P. Morgan Chase bank account that he created and maintained for TNC."

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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