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Survey: 80% of Organizations Experienced Payments Fraud in 2023, Significant Uptick from Previous Year

Checks remain the payment method most susceptible to fraud, according to 65% of survey respondents.

April 16, 2024 — Rockville, Md.  Eighty percent of respondents report that their organizations were victims of attempted or actual payments fraud activity in 2023, according to the 2024 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey, underwritten by Truist.

This number reflects a 15-percentage point increase in payments fraud over 2022 and the highest rate reported since 2018. With heightened awareness and increased preventative controls and processes in place, the increase is not a result of a passive mindset among organizations but rather relentless attempts by fraudsters.

Checks continue to be the payment method most vulnerable to fraud, with 65% of respondents reporting their organizations faced fraud attacks of this type. Despite the high rate at which checks are a frequent target of payments fraud, 70% of organizations currently using checks do not plan to discontinue their use of checks within the next two years.

Over 20% of respondents report fraud due to interference with the United States Postal Service (USPS), which is 10 percentage points higher than the share reported for 2022. Despite alerts from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) regarding increased fraud attempts via mail interception, over 80% of respondents indicate their organizations still deliver checks via the United States Postal Service (USPS) — without tracking.

Other key findings from the 2024 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey include:

  • For the first time in the history of this survey, ACH credits surpassed wires as the most vulnerable payment type for BEC fraud. Even as most payment methods continue to be vulnerable to BEC, payments made via ACH credits (47%), wire transfers (39%) and ACH debits (20%) were most often targeted.
  • In 2023, the most common source of payments fraud was an external source or individual (e.g., forged check, stolen card, corporate synthetic identity fraud). Sixty-five percent of financial professionals report that payments fraud at their companies was the result of actions by an individual outside the organization.
  • Thirty percent of respondents were unsuccessful in recovering funds lost to fraud. Meanwhile, 29% managed to regain up to three-fourths of lost funds, and 41% successfully recouped over three-fourths of lost funds, the bulk of which were lost due to check fraud.

“Financial professionals are steadfastly committed to combatting payments fraud,” said Jim Kaitz, President and CEO of AFP. “However, fraudsters are leveraging increasingly sophisticated tools, and to overcome this challenge, organizations must prioritize awareness, training, and the review and implementation of stringent policies and procedures to mitigate the risk and impact of payments fraud effectively.”

“These findings underscore the relentless evolution of payments fraud," said Chris Ward, Head of Enterprise Payments at Truist. “In addition to providing awareness and training, Truist is committed to delivering solutions that help businesses manage their payments with simplicity, speed and safety. These efforts help clients understand and outpace evolving fraud techniques, empowering them to proactively protect their financial assets with confidence.”

The 2024 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey was conducted in January 2024 and received responses from 522 corporate practitioners representing organizations of varying sizes and a broad range of industries. The results from the survey reflect data for 2023.

Full survey results are available on the 2024 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey page. Please direct all press inquiries to Melissa Rawak, Managing Director, at [email protected].

About AFP®
Headquartered outside of Washington, D.C., and located regionally in Singapore, the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) is the professional society committed to advancing the success of treasury and finance members and their organizations. Established and administered by AFP, the Certified Treasury Professional and Certified Corporate FP&A Professional credentials set standards of excellence in treasury and finance. Each year, AFP hosts the largest networking conference worldwide for about 6,000 corporate financial professionals.

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