Overview: Preventing Fraud

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Types of Banking Fraud

Fraud is a deliberate act with the intention of obtaining an unauthorized benefit, such as money or property, by deception or other unethical means. There are several types of banking fraud that you might encounter which include, but are not limited to:

  • Check fraud where the check amount has been altered
  • Check fraud where the payee name has been altered
  • Check fraud where a check is not an official Stanford University check
  • Online fraud where an email or website pretends to represent a legitimate company in an effort to obtain confidential data
  • Identity theft where an individual tries to obtain sensitive data such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, or other identification
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What to Do If You Suspect Fraud

If you suspect or discover banking fraud of any type (such as a fraudulent check that is somehow related to Stanford), please contact cashmanagement@lists.stanford.edu.

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Preventing Fraud

The best way to prevent fraud is to minimize the opportunity for fraud to occur. All employees of Stanford are expected to do this as part of University's code of conduct:

Employees are responsible for protecting all confidential, proprietary and private information that pertains to other employees, students, parents, vendors, donors, sponsors and other members of the Stanford University community.

To prevent fraud, you should use proper care to ensure the security of documents, (both paper and electronic) containing information such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers, social security numbers, student ID numbers, phone numbers, addresses, mention of payments to individuals, etc.

Additional actions you can take to minimize fraud include:

  • Signing-up and encouraging others to sign-up for direct deposit.
  • If you do not receive an expected check, request that a stop payment be put on that check.
  • Minimize the chance of data on your computer becoming compromised by following the University's guidelines for secure computing.
  • Do not email confidential data.
  • Do not give out confidential information unless you know with certainty that the party to whom you are talking is who they say they are.
  • Limit the amount of paper that you generate that contains sensitive financial information.
  • Do not leave confidential documents lying out in public view.
  • Properly dispose of paper that contains confidential information: Do not place documents with sensitive financial data in the general waste paper recycling bin — these documents must be placed in your department's sensitive documents recycling container for secure disposal.
  • Immediately report suspected instances of fraud.
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Setting Up New Bank Accounts

All University bank accounts should be set up by the Cash Management group. To arrange for a new bank account, contact cashmanagement@lists.stanford.edu. The Cash Management group will ensure that bank accounts take advantage of the latest banking tools available to help minimize the risk of fraud.

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Where to Learn More

Visit the Wells Fargo Fraud Information Center web site for information on fraud prevention.

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