We’re pleased to introduce Dave Hansen, Regional Market Manager for Columbia Bank and an OEN Board Member, as this week’s Sponsor Spotlight.
OEN: Hi Dave, thanks for supporting OEN! Tell us about your role in the local entrepreneurial community.
DH: Columbia Bank is the largest SBA lender in the state of Oregon, so we work with a lot of entrepreneurs and small businesses. Banks are often thought of as a necessary evil, but Columbia provides a ton of financial guidance and advice to early-stage businesses. If it’s not a deal we can do, we’ll get founders connected to people who can help them.
OEN: What type of entrepreneurs are you best suited to support?
DH: The only hard and fast requirement for loans is operating history, a company has to have been in business for at least two years to apply for a loan. But we can help with financial guidance and referrals to anyone.
OEN: What do you think is unique about Oregon’s entrepreneurial economy?
DH: Oregon attracts people who are very accepting of new ideas and innovation, so I think as a culture we are supportive of people going out on a limb. I’m particularly excited about how communities like Hillsboro, Bend, Sherwood, Hood River, McMinnville and Ashland have figured out ways to rally around their entrepreneurs and give them the support they need to get started and grow.
OEN: What are your most common recommendations to first time entrepreneurs?
DH: Well, perhaps obviously I encourage them to go deep into the financials in their business plans and understand the fundamentals. The key question I hope they’ll model out is, how much money do we really need to make a proper go of it? Understanding how much cash you’ll really need to build the business is critically important.
OEN: Why is OEN important to you?
DH: I truly believe that entrepreneurship is the heartbeat of what we do in Oregon. Our economy relies on small businesses and startups for economic growth and jobs. OEN is critical to connecting people with the capital they need, both social and financial.
OEN: What’s something most people in the entrepreneurial community don’t know about you?
DH: Well for one thing, my wife and I are entrepreneurs ourselves – we started ArborBrook Vineyard from scratch in 1999. I’m also an avid runner and get pretty grouchy if I don’t do it! I’ve run 10 marathons, including the 100th running of the Boston Marathon.
OEN: Wine, running, and entrepreneurship, sounds like a winning combo!
To learn more about Columbia Bank, please visit https://www.columbiabank.com/ or get started by reviewing these important fraud avoidance tips.
Don’t Get Spoofed: Important Fraud Protection Tips from Columbia Bank
As your community partner and your bank, we feel it is important to share fraud trends as they occur and provide resources and information to help you avoid fraudulent attacks. Recently, we’ve noticed an uptick in trends associated with Business Email Compromise (BEC) or spoofed emails purporting to be from a trusted source with which you are familiar. While these fraud trends originally included wire transfer requests, we have observed a more current trend associated with the “Direct Deposit Scam,” targeting Payroll and Human Resources departments within an organization. Read on for detailed information about these types of attacks, and tips on how to identify and avoid falling for these attacks.
Types of Business Email Compromise
The BEC scam often starts with phishing emails sent by fraudsters that are designed to capture the login credentials of the business’ CEO, CFO, and/or personnel in Payroll or Human Resources. When successful, the fraudsters begin performing reconnaissance by reviewing how the email account owner communicates, with whom they communicate, and who has the authority to move money within the business. Armed with this information, they will attempt to create trust in future communications by performing one or all of the following actions:
- Create a spoofed email account that is a slight variation of the actual email account compromised.
- Create a spoofed email account of persons with whom the compromised email account holder communicates.
- Send emails from the compromised account to unsuspecting recipients.
Direct Deposit Scam
With the Direct Deposit Scam, the fraudsters will use information obtained to understand procedures associated with making changes to the target bank account associated with employee payroll direct deposits. Next, an email is sent to the person(s) with authority to make this change, typically Payroll or Human Resources personnel, with a new bank account and routing numbers that the fraudster controls. Once changes are made to payroll files and originated through the bank, the fraudsters have successfully stolen the money. Most employees will notice the missing payroll and report it, albeit too late for the bank to recover the funds for the business.
Fraudulent Invoice Scam
With this type of scam, the fraudster will send an email request for an invoice to be paid via wire, ACH, cashier’s check, etc. In some instances, they will ask for existing invoices to be paid to a different bank or account number,
citing changes that they have made. In other instances, they will pay an invoice with a check greater than the requested amount and ask for the difference to be sent to them.
To avoid becoming victimized by these scams, you should
consider the following tips:
- Call or meet with the originator in person to verify the request prior to processing a transition.
- Always call a number on file as opposed to one supplied in the email.
- Avoid replying directly to any suspicious email so the criminal does not know your email address is valid and targets it in the future.
- Communicate details of any attempted or potential fraud with all of your employees so they can remain vigilant.
Red Flags: Be on the lookout for these common BEC fraud indicators.
- Email Confirming Availability
- Bad Grammar or Errors
- Sense of Urgency
- Multiple Requests
- No Access to a Phone
LEARN MORE: ColumbiaBank.com/Resources/Fraud-Prevention