It may be small consolation, but if your organization experienced some sort of payment over the past year, it certainly has company. Nearly three-quarters of companies – 73 percent, to be precise – experienced attempted or actual payment fraud in 2009, according to the 2010 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey.

What’s more, thirty percent of respondents said that incidents of fraud at their organizations increased between 2008 and 2009.

Perhaps not surprisingly, checks remain a trouble spot. In fact, checks played a role in nine out of ten organizations that had experienced fraud. That put checks far ahead of other payments vehicles, such as ACH debit, which was cited by 25 percent of respondents, and consumer credit and debit cards, where were cited by 20 percent of survey participants.

In their efforts to thwart would-be fraudsters, organizations increasingly are moving to electronic payments. In fact, 88 percent of respondents indicated that they were boosting their use of electronic payments in B2B transactions; 83 percent were doing the same with business-to-consumer payments.

Despite the increase in fraud, not all is doom and gloom. Of the organizations that experienced attempted or actual payments fraud last year, a large majority – 70 percent – escaped without any financial loss. Another 18 percent had losses of less than $25,000.

That’s not to suggest this a time for complacency. For 53 percent of respondents, the potential fraud loss could have topped $25,000. Clearly, effective fraud controls can pay off.