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Fraudulent Payment Protection

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Protect Yourself from Fraudulent Payments

As technology evolves, fraudsters get more sophisticated.  Over the last few years, the losses from check, wire transfer and ACH fraud for businesses of all sizes, as well as their clients, have grown at an alarming rate.  

Bankwell is committed to providing you with information and tools to help you minimize your exposure to fraud.  Below are some warning signs, tips and other steps you can take to protect your business against payment fraud.


FAKE PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS. Be wary of wire transfer and ACH payment instructions received via email, especially when they involve payments to new accounts. Fraudsters can easily forge email accounts and send emails with fake instructions. 

SUSPICIOUS SENSE OF URGENCY. Fraudsters may specify that the funds need to be sent as soon as possible. Also, they may explicitly set the email as the only method of contacting the client, rejecting any other channel.

EMAIL SPOOFING. Fraudsters may try to gain the trust of their victims by sending email messages with a falsified “from” address. Their primary goal is to lure the recipients into opening and responding to unwanted solicitations.

EMAIL PHISHING. Any unsolicited emails or websites appearing to be from legitimate individuals, reputable businesses, or government agencies.  They attempt to obtain the victim’s personal or private financial information, including credit card, bank account or login credentials.

CORPORATE ACCOUNT TAKEOVER (CATO). Fraudsters gain control of systems by stealing sensitive employee credentials.  This allows them to initiate fraudulent wire transfers and ACH transactions.

CHECK THEFT/CHECK WASHING.  Fraudsters will seek out mailboxes where you mail your bills from.  They steal the check from the mailbox, and wash the payee and dollar amount, making the check payable to someone whose account they have control of, and changing (increasing) the amount of the check.  


ALWAYS double check by calling the vendor or business partner directly to verbally confirm the payment information. Use only phone numbers you have confirmed that are correct.  Never use the phone numbers provided in an email or text message.

NEVER initiate any wire transfer or ACH payment based only on an email or text message.

ALWAYS reconcile your payments with legitimate invoices before paying. More often than not, fraudsters impersonate trusted vendors to request fraudulent payments. 

Know Your Customers (KYC), their routines and habits, including the reason, detail, and amount of payments.  Watch for unusual changes. 

Limit the number of devices used for various business functions. Consider conducting online banking on dedicated devices segregated from other business functions.

ALWAYS monitor your bank statements and wires, ACH, and other financial transactions to check for potential fraud on your account.  

KEEP your computer's software up to date and CHANGE your passwords regularly or at least every 30 to 60 days.


Educate your employees on the above fraud schemes.

Discuss risky behavior with employees, and the use of good judgment, especially when opening unsolicited emails and visiting websites.

Register to receive notifications and fraud alerts from Bankwell Online Banking.

Consider cybersecurity insurance coverage.


IF YOU IDENTIFY FRAUDULENT TRANSACTIONS ON YOUR ACCOUNTS, contact Bankwell as soon as possible at 877-966-1944 or visit your local branch. 

Report Scams to the FTC (Optional)

If you were scammed or think you saw a scam, tell the FTC at