The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a wire transfer scam alert for all small businesses in the United States. According to the FBI alert, between October 2013 and December 2014, 1,198 complaints from U.S.-based companies were received dealing with wire transfer scams. Losses from these incidents totaled more than $179 million. The FBI also reports that the scams can follow a Ransomware incident, and may involve a fraudster contacting a vendor and requesting a change of payment to an alternate fraudster-controlled bank account.
Though this particular alert was intended for small business owners, dental practice owners should also consider the impact of this scam and determine if their practice is safe from such a scam.
How To Mitigate This Type of Scam
The FBI recommends the following mitigation steps for these types of scams:
- Keep all of your anti-virus software up-to-date.
- Educate your practice employees about security best practices.
- Be sure that any changes to payments via electronic transfer are verified with an employee of the bank and at a phone number that you utilize for assistance.
- Don’t use alternate phone numbers provided via email or by a bank representative contacting you.
- Always call the institution back and verify that you are communicating with your bank.
- Monitor all of your practice’s financial transactions on a daily basis. Suspected electronic fraud must be reported in a single business work day.
- Use two-party authorization access to complete all wire transfer transactions.
- Utilize biometric authentication to verify the identity of authorized users.
- Use online bank portals that require strong fraud controls to complete all wire transfer transactions.
You can find more information about the FBI’s scam alert here. This site also provides detailed samples of how the scams will be run against unsuspecting businesses.
If you have any specific questions about how this scam might impact you or if would like more information on IT security best practices, contact our Bright Dental CPAs.
By: Ryan Dumermuth, CPA, CFP (Mentor office)
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According to WebMD.com, 9 to 20 percent of adults are afraid of going to the dentist. The cause of these fears varies from patient to patient, but it’s important that your practice is performing fundamental tasks that will limit patient fears. Here are five tips that will help you calm patient fears so they will come back and see you again:
- Make a good first impression. You and your staff should greet everyone with a smile and welcome them to your office. A first impression goes a long way when someone is afraid to be there.
- Have a welcoming waiting room. Your waiting room should be well lit, have updated magazines, children’s toys and books and complimentary drinks. If you want to go above and beyond, consider adding free Wi-Fi access. This will not only keep your patients pre-occupied while waiting to see you, but it will also be a way to advertise your website by making this your homepage when they first log on.
- Communicate. Reassure the patient that his or her procedure is routine and you have handled many times before. Explain what you are going to do, what the patient can expect, how you are going to relieve the pain, and how long it will take for full recovery. If your patients have a mapped out plan of how everything will happen, it will ease their fear. Also, show confidence in what you are doing and be sure to listen to what they have to say.
- Limit delays. There is nothing worse than feeling terrified to see the dentist and having to wait a long time thinking about it. If you are more than 20 minutes behind schedule, call your patients in advance and let them know. Even for your patients who aren’t scared to see you, this will go a long way. We all know some delays are inevitable, but when this happens, communicate it in advance. If, for some reason, you’re unable to let your patient know about a delay prior to their arrival, offer to pay for their parking or transportation cost. Sometimes part of the fear of the dentist is the cost of it all, and a simple $5 or $10 reimbursement will go a long way in a patient’s eyes.
- Under promise and over deliver. It’s easy to tell a patient that this won’t hurt at all when you know you are about to inflict some serious pain. This only hurts you in the long run, by breaking patient trust. You need to be honest, up front, and sometimes even too honest. When you tell a patient they should expect pain, and it only hurts a little bit, they may leave thinking it wasn’t as bad as they thought. Your receptionist should also follow this mindset. When your patient arrives, tell them it will be a 20-minute wait when you know it will only take 5 or 10 minutes. When their name gets called, your patient’s mindset will already be a positive one before he or she has even seen the dentist. They will feel important and cared for, which is what successful dental practices do.
Some of these tips may seem a bit basic and common sense, but adhering to them can help you preserve patient confidence and help them be at ease during their visit. Contact our Bright Dental CPAs for more tips on how to enhance your patient experience.
By Alan Hill, CPA (Mentor office)
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