Business Scams: Common Schemes and How to Avoid Them.
Scammers are looking to take money from your business. Find out what they’re up to and how you can stop them down. You’ve probably heard of consumer fraud in some way or manner. Perhaps you’ve read of an elderly relative whose retirement savings were taken by a fake tech support person or heard about an article on Local news about individuals who wrote fake checks. These kinds of frauds pose an issue for families and individuals. What you might need to learn is that a lot of companies are in the crosshairs of fraudsters.
Below are some guidelines to avoid scams in the business particularly those that are based on B2B (B2B) interaction. If you run a business or work for any, it’s an information you must read attentively. There’s an inventory of frauds that are most commonly used by people who want to defraud businesses out of their money.
Common Scams Targeting Businesses
Identity theft from businesses
The theft of identities isn’t only a threat to individual business owners – even businesses are at risk from fraudsters. The rate of identity theft increased to 113 percent by 2023 when people were hit by tough times, according our study of Consumer Sentinel Network data.
If someone contacts you pretending to be an agency of the government or other reliable entity, and goes on to ask for sensitive information regarding your business, you might be at the mercy of a scam perpetrated by an imposter.
Business loan scams
If you’re currently in the process of searching for a business credit loan, it is important to look for offers that provide generous terms. These scams typically claim to offer outstanding rates even if the credit of your company isn’t the best. However, you’ll only be granted access to these loans when you pay an upfront cost that the fraudster will quickly pay off before the loans disappear.
Fake invoices and requests for payment
Companies with larger size are usually targeted by invoice or payment request frauds. Why is this? If the amount is big, they’re likely to approve an invoice without even giving it an examination due to the volume of invoices they need to handle. At the point you spot on, the fraudster already has your money and is gone.
Scammy service offerings and Office supply frauds
Certain scammers claim to be legitimate businesses that offer office supplies or business services. You can make an offer, thinking that you’re getting a bargain on a service or product and then find that the company you purchased from is outside the business of providing.
Cyber-security security threats
Analyzing Consumer Sentinel Network data showed that cyber attacks are among the top widely reported online crimes in 2023, increasing by more than 2000 percent over the course of 2019. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that, because of COVID-19’s effect on the economy fraudsters increased their digital actions against businesses. The hackers often target companies because they typically have larger banking accounts.
Scams with fake checks or overpayments
Based on the American Bankers Association, check frauds are among the oldest tricks that exist and are quite common.
If the person who paid you requests a refund using a credit card that is prepaid or gift card wire transfer, you should be suspicious. Fraudsters prefer to get paid through these methods since they’re harder for authorities to trace. The delay in refunds for checks for over a period of time can aid in avoiding being scammed.
Every charitable request doesn’t have to be an opportunity to support a worthy cause! Scammers can make use of your company’s generosity by asking for a contribution to a charity or sponsorship opportunity that’s not legitimate. They can also pretend as if they are representing an established non-profit organization, but they’re actually making money for themselves.
Email compromise for business and phishing scams
Spam emails remain a menace and phishing scams via email have been around for a long time. If you are offered for a business transaction that seems like it’s too good to be true or receive an unwelcome request to reset your password for the accounts of your business it could be that you’re being scammed by a crook. If you do receive an email that appears to come from a legitimate organization but it’s still recommended to do the necessary research about them.
Fastest Growing Scams
The FTC is a public repository that collects and shares millions of reports about scams, frauds and other cyber-crimes via it’s Consumer Sentinel Network. With this data we examined the frauds that can affect companies and determined which kinds are increasing in frequency.
How to safeguard your business from scams
Now that you’re familiar of the most well-known and fastest-growing scams, can you spot the frauds your business might fall prey to? Do a thorough review of your business and compare it against our list of cons to determine if there are any potential threats.
Training employees on the importance of safety
If many employees have been allowed to pay for services or products, ensure each employee with authority to pay for goods and supplies is aware of how to safeguard payment information. Find secure and secure websites and recognize the warning signs of fraud. Think about putting on a scam simulation workshop in your office. Furthermore, your business could create a scam prevention guidebook.
Be aware of fakes when you come across one.
Certain scammers send official emails from businesses that you might or might not be doing business with. They often include links that lead you to the website of the company, from which the scammer is hoping you’ll attempt to log in (and in turn, offer your login credentials).
Set up procedures that everyone must be able to
In general, it is recommended to have a system in place to handle frauds that could be a threat. It is important to have guidelines for what types of information shouldn’t be shared. Employees need to know how to report suspected fraud both inside and outside of the company.
Make sure that your devices, files and networks are.
How secure are employees’ phones and laptops? How secure is your company’s firewall? Are employees aware of the need to not transmit sensitive information electronically to anyone outside of the company? A thorough internal audit of your devices and the procedures that your employees follow can help you stay clear of fraud attempts.
Anyone who has access to private or sensitive customer data must have their own login in addition, any attempts to download or open the data must be recorded. In this way, you’ll be able to create the trail that leads to the person who shared the data, or help you determine who’s account has been compromised.
Find for new suppliers and verify payment details.
Are you aware of the names you’re paying for your services and which names of companies are utilized by your vendors? These information are important to be left out. Every time you start an association with a new payment source ensure that you get an example invoice from them to know what it looks like.
Scams reported and successfully resisted
You’ll be lucky to identify one of the mentioned scams before things get too far. Maybe you’ll fall victim to a fraud like so many people do each day. Whatever the case, it’s important to inform the FTC. The FTC has a separate page specifically for those who would like to offer suggestions.
Stay on the Defensive
Making sure your business is safe from fraudsters is an all-team effort. It is a must to have a well-trained and disciplined team, as well as the understanding that you should never relax and be on guard.
If you follow the steps in the previous paragraph, you’ll understand how to protect your assets from potential thieves, and also how to identify any signs of trouble before they become out of control. Stay caught up in the next FBI report. Take action immediately to seal any gaps in your business.