Nearly 2.6 million cases of fraud were reported to the FTC in 2023. Even more shocking, the estimated total financial loss exceeds $10 billion. According to the FTC, consumers reported losing more money to bank transfers and cryptocurrency than all other methods combined. 

The data is clear. Without payment fraud prevention measures, your business becomes an easy target for scammers.

RQD Clearing leverages real-time payments to power the next generation of broker-dealers. Read the case study to learn more.

If you’re ready to take payment fraud prevention seriously, read on.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

What is payment fraud?

Payment fraud is the practice of stealing someone’s payment information and using it for unauthorized purchases or transactions. Essentially, bad actors either misrepresent themselves or manipulate information to gain access to your funds.

On a personal level, payment fraud often involves criminals stealing credit cards or obtaining details without a physical card to make unauthorized withdrawals or purchases. For businesses, fraud can be more complex, encompassing various methods such as phishing, identity theft, and sophisticated scams designed to exploit vulnerabilities in payment systems.

A better understanding of payment fraud protects both the individual and business from financial losses and maintains the integrity of their financial transactions. By being aware of the common fraudulent tactics, one can take proactive steps to safeguard their payment information.


Common types of payment fraud 

It can take as little as a stolen password to commit serious acts of fraud.

However, there are many avenues fraudsters use to approach businesses and gather sensitive information. Here are some of the most common (and lucrative) methods of fraud:

common types of payment fraud graphic for

1. Cyber attacks

Criminals can use cyber attacks to gain access to your bank card information through payment details. After fraudulent purchases occur, you’ve already lost the sensitive information and will have to replace bank cards. Online fraud poses a threat to your company’s brand. Even if you (the owner of a targeted website) weren’t the culprit, you’re likely to suffer significant reputation harm.

2. Phishing

Phishing fraud occurs when a criminal sends a message to the victim to trick them into providing personal information. Offenders usually attempt to imitate a well-known person or brand. Phone calls, emails, and text messages can all be used to launch phishing attacks. 

3. “Friendly” transactions

The so-called “friendly fraud” isn’t friendly at all. Fraudsters pay with a card and then request a refund, then claim they didn’t receive the product, or that it was defective. The goal is to keep the product and receive money back.

4. Stolen payment information

Known as “clean fraud,” it is one of the most difficult to detect. The reason is that they get away “clean,” without a trace. Criminals begin by carefully examining your company’s fraud-detection systems. Next, they gain stolen payment and personal information. They then use the information to circumvent the anti-fraud systems. The more exposed your fraud detection system is, the more likely you are to be chosen as a target. Once the fraudulent transaction is completed, the criminal disappears, leaving you to deal with the chargebacks. 

5. Bank transfer fraud

A bank transfer scam occurs when someone is duped into making a direct transfer in exchange for goods or services. Criminals with stolen email credentials may monitor your company’s conversations, impersonate a recipient, and send their own banking details as the receiving account. Another common example is when a fraudster pretends to be interested in purchasing goods or services and asks the seller what account the payment should be transferred to.


Payment Processing Fraud: Common Methods at Risk 

We went over common methods fraudsters apply to target businesses. To further help you develop a risk strategy to prevent fraud, we’ll discuss what types of payment processing fraud exist and how they can affect your business.

ACH fraud

The ACH Network comprises many actors (both automated and human) who work together to ensure that money transfers are secure and successful. Fraudsters often target specific bank accounts to take advantage of the ACH processing time delay. In fact, according to a report by JP Morgan, checks and ACH transfers accounted for 66% and 37% of payment methods affected by fraud. Because the issue is so prolific, Orum is encouraging readers to thoroughly research options and become more aware of the risk of fraud.

Debit cards

Scammers can get your debit card information entirely without your knowledge. They can install a skimming device on an ATM, gas station, or any other location where you swipe your card. Hackers can gain unauthorized access to companies you’ve previously purchased from and steal information from them.

Credit cards

B2B credit card fraud occurs when someone virtually compromises your account or gets control of your physical card. There is no foolproof way for you to prevent hackers from attempting such attacks. However, you can reduce your chances of becoming a victim and mitigate the consequences of fraudulent activity. Be proactive and keep track of your accounts to protect your credit card information. Examples include employing credit monitoring services or setting up alerts for specific transaction types.

RTP (real-time payments)

The RTP network, which was launched in 2017, reaches 70% of Demand Deposit Accounts (DDA) to provide real-time payments. In January 2021, the Fed launched the FedNow program. Orum is one of the launch partners for the new payments network, which includes over 200 financial institutions and processors. The availability of real-time payment methods increases the attractiveness and profitability of fraudsters. A common scam involves impersonating a company employee or vendor to dupe victims into sending money.

Wire transfer fraud

Wire transfer fraud affects you, whether you’re the funds’ transmitter or recipient. To deceive victims into moving money, some phishers use bogus Western Union emails and copied websites. Also important to know is that accepting money from a stranger and wiring it to yourself can flag you for money laundering.

Paper check

The mailbox is a vulnerable point for fraud. Bad actors can simply change dollar amounts or the receiving accounts of professionally written checks. Altering paper checks, stealing blank checks, and issuing bogus checks are all common methods. The age-old art of forgery is still alive and well, thanks to advances in technology.


Once taken, cash is almost untraceable. Cash deposits are particularly vulnerable (and attractive) to fraudsters. Withdrawals from the cash pouch or a lack of accounting records make fraud easy. The problem can be discovered after the fact by comparing the deposit slip to the cashier’s record of cash received.


Fraud detection, prevention, and response

How do you distinguish between a scammer and a consumer? The wrong call may cause legitimate clients to get blacklisted.

You can achieve a balance of risk and revenue by employing detection, prevention, and response.


Fraud detection technology detects behavioral abnormalities. It also determines which of your customers are genuine and which are not by analyzing historical and cross-platform data between businesses.

Specific high-risk segments, such as specific industries or geographic regions with higher fraud rates, can also be considered.


Use predetermined risk profiles to automate a portion of the assessment process. You’ll save time and reduce risk management efforts.


How do you choose the best risk management strategy for your company? Experiment with various settings and A/B test them to see which is most effective and cost-efficient.


6 payment fraud prevention techniques you can implement 

Setting up internal controls to prevent payment fraud is just as important as having a disaster recovery plan. Here are 6 steps to take to secure your organization against payment fraud. 

1. Train your team

The report by JPMorgan shows that 65% percent of respondents reported that their organizations experienced either attempted or actual fraud activity in 2022.

While the jury is still out on whether the impact of remote work is to blame, deploying a successful employee training program is essential.

Your employee training program should cover how to detect fraud as well as prevent it.

When one of your employees receives an unusual or suspicious request, he or she should pause and contact the individual via a known phone number or email address.

 2. Require multiple approvals

Set a monetary limit and require multi-employee approval for any transactions that exceed it.

Requiring at least two sets of eyes on large transactions reduces the likelihood of a fraudulent payment being processed.

Implement internal controls to further aid in the prevention of occupational fraud, as well as wage and benefit fraud.

3. Improve your cybersecurity posture

Besides adopting an encrypted wireless network, consider implementing the following safeguards:

  • Require staff to use business email accounts to communicate
  • Configure multi-factor authentication for all company accounts and require employees to follow suit
  • Use strong passwords and avoid using the same login information across multiple platforms.

4. Set up account activity monitoring

Check your bank account balances regularly and report any suspicious activity. It’s easy to miss fraud occurrences when you review statements months later. You can also appoint a person or product to monitor account balances to detect problems early.

5. Target suspicious emails

Your company’s Accounts Payable (AP) department is the most attractive to cybercriminals to target through email. Keep a watch out for two sorts of fraudulent emails in particular:  phishing and business email compromise. Avoid clicking any links if you receive an email or text message you are unsure about.

6. Stop using paper checks

Although the use of paper checks has decreased over time, check fraud is still common. The time it takes for a check to be processed allows fraudsters to gain funds and get off scot-free. Some criminals also employ low-tech techniques, such as changing the name or amount on a legitimate check and other forms of forgery.

To reduce check fraud, some organizations are using paper checks less in business-to-business transactions.


Reduce Fraud Risk with Secure Payment Processes

The more you understand the different avenues through which fraud can occur, the more tedious and demanding prevention becomes offers a comprehensive solution to streamline and secure your payment processes with the simplest API for fast, reliable payments. Access all major payment rails, including FedNow, RTP, Same Day ACH, ACH, and Wires, without costly bank integrations or prolonged compliance. Our services include fast payouts, instant account verification, and secure A2A transfers, all designed to optimize money movement and reduce your risk of payment fraud. 

Partner with us to speed up payments and drive growth. Get in touch with our team today!

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