Con artists are growing smarter every day, learning new ways to scam not just consumers but small-business owners, too.
There are a variety of scams that the Better Business Bureau has flagged as most commonly targeted toward small businesses, ones that owners need to learn about to protect their organizations. The top 5 riskiest small-business scams are bank/credit card company impostors, directory listing and advertising, fake invoice/supplier bills and fake checks.
For small-business owners, it’s critical to learn the warning signs and tactics used by scammers. Here are a few tips to ensure you are not the next target of a scammer!
- Train and inform employees:Make sure employees know the policies around paying invoices, giving away business information and working with IT.
- Verify invoices:Don’t pay a bill that looks unfamiliar just because it seems urgent. Call the number provided to try and figure out who you’re dealing with.
- Be tech-savvy:When offered tech support, always take a moment to call the number originally given to you by your computer security provider to verify that the calls you are getting are coming from them.
- Don’t click on links or open attachments in unsolicited email.Links can download malware onto your computer and/or steal your identity. Be cautious even with email that looks familiar; it could be fake.
- Don’t be pressured to act immediately. Scammers typically try to make you think something is scarce or a limited time offer. They want to push you into action before you have time to think or to discuss it with a family member, friend, or financial adviser. High-pressure sales tactics are also used by some legitimate businesses, but it’s never a good idea to make an important decision quickly.
- Be cautious about what you share on social media and consider only connecting with people you already know. Be sure to use privacy settings on all social media and online accounts. Impostors often get information about their targets from their online interactions, and can make themselves sound like a friend or family member because they know so much about you.