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How To Detect Small Business Scams

Hackers, scammers, and all other kinds of cybercriminals are rife in today’s world. Due to the popularity and overreliance society now has on technology, we’re seeing more and more people learning how to use software in a nefarious way.

All individuals, families, and businesses are susceptible to these kinds of attacks, but unfortunately they target small businesses more than most because of their lack of cybersecurity and the money/important data they have stored away. Small businesses will not have everything set up perfectly like those of larger, more established businesses. The likes of their online safety and accounting processes will not be as secure as many others.

The good thing is that you can learn a lot about detecting the likes of scams and hackers if you just do a little research and digging. The world of technology is forever evolving and finding newer ways to get one over on your business. In this article, we are going to provide a few tips that might help you out in the future.

What Kinds Of Scams Are Out There?

Unfortunately, there are an awful lot of scams around that many small businesses are susceptible to. Scammers and hackers can take full advantage of pretty much every single facet of a business or business transaction. Here are the kinds of scams that have taken place in recent history:

Stolen Identity

Many scammers out there will act as a genuine company in order to convince people–they even set up fake websites, often of reused logos of already successful companies. They’ll look to misuse your company in order to get what they want out of victims–victims who might be customers and potential customers.

The targeted company may not lose out financially, but they’ll certainly have their reputation tarnished and will have to deal with a multitude of complaints.

Overpayments

Here, you’ll do business with someone who sends you a check for more than they were supposed to pay. They then tell you to wire the balance back to them. They either do this, or they’ll request you send a check and tell you to deposit it, keep part of the amount for your own compensation, and then wire the rest back. You end up responsible for paying the full amount after the check eventually bounces.

Fake Invoices

This is a very common scam that affects businesses all over the world. Typically, if you see an invoice that looks a little suspicious, you’ll ignore it or investigate. When it comes to things like office supplies, website services, or directory listings, however, many business owners do not bat an eye and pay regardless. The amount is small and doesn’t raise too many eyebrows, so it is simply paid and forgotten about.

Business Email Compromise

This is an email phishing scam that will target people who pay bills in businesses, governments, and non-profit organizations. The scammer will pose as a vendor who sends an email to an accountant or chief financial officer. The email seems plausible and asks to wire money or send information. The money will then fall into the account of the scammer.

Various Other Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are all about attempting to steal sensitive info about a business. They appear to be legitimate and genuine, but once clicked on, a virus is released that captures personal information. It’ll steal info or load up a form that asks for bank or card details.

If you check the actual address and have a firewall installed, you should be fine and should be able to deal with this kind of thing accordingly.

Charity Pitches And Requests

Most businesses will be asked every now and again to donate to charitable causes. Most are legitimate and fine, but many fraudulent ones will rear their ugly heads from time to time.

Tips For Avoiding Small Business Scams

Keep Records

Be sure to keep documentation of all purchases. If you have everything written down in front of you, it will make things easier to detect fake and suspicious invoices. When the ideas are stuck in your head, your memory won’t be enough.

Be Careful With Payments

Establish the likes of a multi-person approval process for transactions above a certain figure. Your business cannot afford to have any slip-ups, and a single authorization procedure will likely not be enough to protect your business from hackers and scammers.

Double Check Your Vendors

Doing business with the right company matters so much when you’re trying to make money and avoid problems. Work with businesses you’re aware of and comfortable with. If they’re new, then vet them deeply and gather as much information on them as you can.

Protect All Devices

You have to ensure that you have computer protection software and a strong firewall. When you receive unsolicited emails, be sure to keep your wits about you and do not click on random links. Serious malware could be spread once the link has been opened.

Also, be sure you think about getting cyber liability coverage from a solid, reliable firm. You need to be protected financially should anything negative happen.

Be Careful With Your Information

This is an obvious point, but it must be mentioned. Do NOT give out information about your business unless you know the information is going to be used for genuine and positive reasons. Do not dish out personal or financial info to a person–or people–you do not know.

Talk To People About Certain Scams

Let others know about the kinds of scams that are around. If they become educated on the matter, it makes them more likely to spot issues. Employees, colleagues, relatives, and all other people in your circle should know how to spot them.

If you’d like to know any more information about online scams and hackers, then you can always contact us directly and we’ll point you in the right direction. Your business will need to be safe every single day, so never take these kinds of precautions lightly.