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How to identify and avoid fraud as a healthcare practice owner

Help lock down your assets and prevent fraud with these tips.

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Whether it's a minor transaction like ordering a bird feeder or something major like cashing a substantial check, it's widely acknowledged that being defrauded is not only inconvenient but also can cause some significant financial headaches. As your financial partner, we’re sharing a couple of tips to help you safeguard yourself and your business.

Types of fraud

Spoofing refers to using deception to appear as another person or source of information. Fraudsters are getting more creative and have been known to spoof phone numbers and even company websites. Even if the phone number calling you matches the one on the back of your credit card, it may not be your bank.

We recommend:
  • Saving direct links and using apps to log in to all your bank accounts
  • Avoiding searching for your bank's website using a search engine
  • Exercising caution when you receive unsolicited emails and urgent requests
  • Exercising discretion when provided contact and callback information via email; it's better to use a known, verified phone number to call and confirm any financial transactions or requests for sensitive information
💡Provide customers: We won’t call from a 1-800 number. Unless you have your Provide rep on speed dial, log in to the Provide portal to call or message them directly when you have questions or concerns. 

When a fraudster impersonates a legitimate company or organization using email, faxes, and/or websites to lure recipients into revealing confidential information, that’s phishing. Phishing can also occur via voice phishing using the phone, vishing, and SMiShing, via text messages. It can be difficult to distinguish a real message from a phishing message. Quite often, the tone of the message is urgent, leading recipients to believe there’s something wrong with their account.

We recommend:
  • Hovering over the email sender to verify its authenticity
  • Bookmarking the official links to banking websites
  • Considering any urgent call to action with negative consequences as a potential red flag
  • Looking for spelling errors or bad grammar
  • Not clicking any links or attachments, or calling the phone number provided
💡Provide customers: Forward phishing emails that appear to come from Provide to for investigation.

Payment fraud 
Payment fraud occurs when a fraudster is attempting to steal your money. Think checks, debit cards, and wire transfers. Despite moving to a more digital world, check fraud continues to be one of the most common forms of fraud that banks see. Check fraud includes counterfeit checks, altered checks, and forged signatures. 

We recommend:
  • Utilizing Customer-Maintained Check Positive Pay (CMPP), also known as check fraud mitigation, which allows you to compare check-paid items against issue information to identify discrepancies; make it a habit to check daily, if possible
  • Monitoring your accounts regularly and diligently 
  • Moving to online statements and making payments via ACH to avoid dealing with checks
  • Avoiding mailing checks when possible
  • Transitioning to card and electronic payments when possible, such as using a business credit card 
💡 Pro tip: Provide’s credit card for healthcare practice owners, the Provide Card, was built specifically for you. Cardholders can securely make bulk supply orders and earn tailored rewards on their purchases. As a practice owner, this can help you avoid check and debit card fraud. You get cash back, and it doesn’t link to your account.

Other best practices
  • If you’re a Provide customer, contact your Provide rep to discuss the solutions mentioned above. 
  • Consider investing in security software to protect all office devices.
  • Install a pop-up blocker on your system.
  • Install and maintain updated antivirus/antimalware tools on computers used to access your accounts.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Have employees log in and out, and teach them good security habits.
  • Consider using only one nonpublic computer for banking needs.
  • Review your account balance online daily to help identify fraudulent transactions as soon as possible.
And if you’re using our online banking platform, Fifth Third Direct:
  • If an employee leaves or is terminated and is a user on Fifth Third Direct, delete their user profile immediately.
  • Only set up employees who need access to the system as users.
  • Utilize the security features available in Fifth Third Direct for dual administrative control and dual payment control to add an additional security layer by requiring a second user to approve actions taken by another user.
  • Limit access to accounts and services on Fifth Third Direct to only those that each user needs to complete their daily job functions.
If you’re not using Fifth Third Direct and want to learn more, contact your Provide rep.

By being aware, educating your team, and utilizing the right tools, you can be proactive rather than reactive as far as fraud is concerned. And we’re here to help! Reach out to your Provide rep with questions. 

This content is for informational purposes and does not constitute the rendering of legal, accounting, tax, or investment advice, or other professional services by neither Provide, its affiliates, nor Fifth Third Bank, and it is being provided without any warranty whatsoever. Please consult with appropriate professionals related to your individual circumstances.

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