Scammers either position themselves as the support you need or the threat you want to avoid. Anyone can fall for their attempts, but small to medium-sized businesses are especially vulnerable to certain scams. They may not realize they’re being targeted, which is why awareness of common fraud tactics is crucial.
Four common scams that target small businesses:
- False invoices
As a small company, you probably keep a close eye on finances. However, when an invoice shows up stating that you’re past due, you may quickly send a check to avoid repercussions. If you’re sent an invoice for items you didn’t receive or do not remember ordering, make sure to check your records before paying.
- Fake checks
Scammers know that small businesses need help, and they use it to their advantage. In this case, a scammer will ask the small business to deposit a check — but the amount will be greater than expected. The scammer might use a clever reason to explain the extra amount and suggest wiring the difference back to a third party. However, by the time the check bounces at the bank, the money you sent will be gone, and so will the scammer.
An all-too-common scam involves imposters presenting themselves as a bank or credit card issuer, a utility company, or even a government agency. They may want to “verify” account information, threaten to suspend business licenses, take legal action, or insist you pay a “late bill” in order to keep your gas, electric, or water running. If you receive a call like this, do not give out personal information. Speak with your bank, a lawyer, or your utility company and verify the information before sending money anywhere.
- Support scams
These are particularly common. It’s easy to believe a message informing you that your system has malware or is at risk. According to a report from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), “Scammers pretend to be from a well-known company. The goal is to collect money, gain access to the computer, or both.” Small businesses may not have the security of a bigger business and could be more susceptible to these scams.
Company-wide Internet filtering and network security can stop some unauthorized phishing attempts. Also, notifying IT support staff — whether internal or external — when these messages or any other suspicious emails appear can cut down on the future threat of fraud or infection.
At CMIT Solutions, we worry about IT so you don’t have to, working 24/7 to prevent our clients from the negative impacts of phishing attempts, scams, hacks, data breaches, malware, viruses, and more. Contact us today to protect your business.