You have enough on your plate running your business without constantly being vigilant for email scams, phony invoices and other fraud attempts. Recently, the Better Business Bureau released a warning about a common scam that has been on the rise— The Directory Scam (or “Yellow Pages scams”).
Here’s what to look out for, along with other commonly used scams and how to prevent fraud from hitting your business.
Directory Scams – The scammer calls the business claiming they just want to update company’s entry in an online directory or “Yellow Pages.” The business is later billed hundreds of dollars for listing services they didn’t agree to or for ads which they thought would be in the actual Yellow Pages. They are often looking for the employee to say “yes” so they can go back and edit the recording, making it sound like you said “yes” to advertising.
Business Email Compromise (BEC) – Scammers typically involve phony or “spoofed” emails that appear to be from high-ranking company officials that instruct employees to wire large amounts of cash or provide sensitive information such as W-2 wage and tax statements. Thieves use publicly available information to research the targeted organization, tailoring the spoofed or faked email to make it appear that it came from a company executive.
Merchant Services Scams – The caller will identify themselves as a “Merchant Services” provider and claim that you are being overcharged. The caller will insist they are just trying to help but before you know it, they have converted you to their system, including a HUGE termination fee within their contract. Always contact OMEGA first. OMEGA has your information and your statements—these calls are unethically taking advantage of you!
Office Supply Scams – Every year the BBB receives thousands of complaints from small business owners who were deceived by office supply companies who billed them for products like toner or paper that they didn’t order.
Vanity Awards – Not all awards are on the up and up. Some are just money-making schemes and have no actual merit. Research all business or leadership award opportunities, and be wary if you’re asked to pay money.
Stolen Identity – In this case, your business reputation could be tarnished if customers are ripped off by scammers and think that you are actually responsible.
Phishing Scams – Hackers will attempt to gain access of your computer or network not with a rod and reel but with emails that look like they are from a trustworthy company. Common examples include emails pretending to be from the IRS, BBB or government agency. If you receive a suspicious email, DO NOT click on any links or open any attachments. Contact the agency directly to confirm the legitimacy of the email.
Fax Back Scams – Businesses will receive an unsolicited fax, usually offering great deal on a product or a trip. They often require that you send a fax back or call a toll-free number. Be careful. The high costs when you reply are often not disclosed, and you can be charged several dollars if you fax back.
Other common scams could be in the form of phony invoices, charity pitches, coupon books, and business opportunities. Knowing what scams are out there is the number one way to protect yourself from fraud happening to you. Contact us for more information on keeping your company safe.