Fraud Prevention Recommendations
The Comptroller’s office encourages agencies to review their internal processes and implement changes to reduce security risks:
- Know your customer. When something appears suspicious, trust your instincts and check it out. It might only take a simple phone call to verify information.
- Obtain all maintenance requests in writing and on approved forms. Never accept maintenance requests over the phone.
- Have the payee provide missing information before processing a form.
- Verify that existing account information is accurate in TINS before processing changes.
- Obtain phone numbers whenever possible. You may need to verify information in the future.
- Payees must provide the information required by the agency for TINS and payment processing.
- Agencies must not provide confidential or sensitive information over the phone such as account numbers or identification numbers.
Before performing payee maintenance, the Comptroller’s office recommends that agencies require documentation to verify the payee’s Social Security number (SSN), Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or Employer identification number (EIN), such as:
- An individual’s Social Security card
- IRS EIN Assignment Letter Form SS4, which must be an official letter from IRS
- IRS TIN Validation Letter Form 147c — Payees can contact the IRS to request a copy
CAUTION: The Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification Form W-9 can be filled out online by the payee and does not provide verification of the identification number. Payment Services does not recommend accepting Form W-9, nor will Payment Services accept this form as documentation when processing TINS maintenance on behalf of the agency.
Download the Comptroller’s handouts on fraud prevention: