Learn To Protect Your Business From Costly Scams
Scams that target businesses can be costly.
The Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission advise businesses of all sizes to be alert for possible scams and to regularly train employees to help prevent them.
Crooks pretending to be service providers, suppliers, lenders, or even government officials contact businesses in a variety of ways, including phone calls, email or even in person. Their goals include taking money or information about the business or its customers.
Some of the most common business scams include:
- Tech support hoaxes.
- People pretending to be from government agencies or utility companies.
- Directory listing or advertising rip-offs.
- Bank and card company imposters who try to steal account information.
- Invoice or supplier hoaxes where businesses are presented with fake bills.
Most scams involve imposters demanding quick action. These rip-off artists use fear and intimidation, which often include threats to cancel operating licenses or to shut down vital services or supplies unless payments are made immediately. Money is usually demanded in the form of wire transfers or via reloadable cards or gift cards, and once these payments are made they can be next to impossible to recover.
So how do businesses protect themselves? Experts stress the importance of education and verification.
Education means training staff to be aware of common scams and how to react to and report possible problems. Education should include specific policies to follow and regular reminders about staying aware and who to contact with concerns.
Verification is huge. With so many scams demanding money, it’s important that employees take the time to confirm that any payment or demand for information is valid. If you’re unsure of the source, cut them off and then either call an official phone number and explain why you’re checking on information or visit an official website to make contact. Don’t blindly send money or share important data such as account numbers unless you’re 100% sure a request is valid.