As a seasoned business owner or smart new entrepreneur, you should be aware of and use the following four activities and procedures to prevent these kinds of losses.
- Loan Fraud
It can be tempting to hunt for investment capital and loans wherever you can, particularly when a business is just getting off the ground. The adage "If it appears too good to be true, it probably is" applies here. When looking for loans, you should constantly seek the finest conditions. However, be wary of lending firms that offer better rates, especially if your credit is less than ideal.
These scams involve the lender requesting a fee before granting the loan and then ceasing to exist or dissipating before disbursing the funds. Always thoroughly research a loan before agreeing to any terms or paying any fees, and make sure a seasoned lawyer or advisor will be reviewing your deal.
- False Bills
Scammers frequently use phony invoices to attack businesses. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service was forced to issue a warning due to the prevalence of this practice, stating that the effectiveness of these frauds is due to the fact that the invoices appear real and that staff are not paying close attention. They frequently believe that someone else at the business placed the order, so they pay the invoice.
Be cautious while processing bills; compare them to your original orders and your receipt (as an added measure of safety) and confirm the vendor's legitimacy before sending payment.
- Phishing in emails
A phishing scam is a cunning attack where the con artist tries to steal or damage confidential data about your company. These frequently appear in emails or texts posing as genuine messages and requesting that people click a link and enter their information. In reality, the con artist is phishing for private data like your bank account and passwords.
The three main ways they try to trick you, according to the Better Business Bureau, are to promise a reward, threaten punishment, or pose as a simple request from a coworker or a document from the office scanner. They advise you to exercise caution when confronted with offers of free gift cards, threats of unpaid taxes, or seemingly innocent yet unusual comments from coworkers.
You might be shocked by how frequently workers click on these links and unintentionally give scammers access to their private and protected information. My major piece of caution is to never click on a link sent to you by an unknown source, especially at work. Inform IT or tech support about the message instead.
Even if the sender or address seems familiar, be wary of emails that ask for information in a generic manner. A brief training session for your staff members can go a long way toward lowering the danger to your company.
- Identity theft at work
Stories of commercial identity theft are less common than those of personal identity theft. But it does happen. Your company's profits and reputation may suffer for years as a result when this happens.
Scammers can impersonate a representative of your firm thanks to the rise in online and remote communication, and you might not realize it until the harm has been done. Identity thieves may spend money on your behalf, incur debt, or even make terrible business judgments.
Make sure to frequently check your company's credit reports for any suspicious activity, and think about enhancing account security to guarantee that only people with permission may access them. The website of the Federal Trade Commission is a wonderful source for information on typical business scams and how to prevent them.
All of these pointers can assist you in spotting scams and, hopefully, avoiding them. But there is one more thing you can do as a small business owner to safeguard your interests and those of your enterprise: get to know the people you deal with on a daily basis. While maintaining high employee morale is essential, solid vendor connections can also be beneficial. By watching out for them, you increase the likelihood that they will do the same for you.
Remember that anyone can become a victim of business fraud or scams. Always be ready for the worst.