Scams Target Small Businesses

Small Business Fraud on the Rise

Small businesses have long been a target of scammers and, as technology continues to advance, the scams have become more sophisticated and harder to defend against.  Businesses need to be on the lookout for these scams, some of which have been around for years, while others are riding the wave of cutting-edge technology. The two most prevalent scams targeting businesses are phishing attacks and false invoices.

Phishing Attacks

Businesses are a primary target of phishing schemes which seek to capture sensitive information using fake emails disguised to look as if they are from a legitimate sender. The email may contain enough information to make you think it is from a financial institution, government agency, or even a colleague, asking you to click on a link. The link takes you to a website that looks like the real deal but any information you enter will be captured by the scammer.

Another phishing scheme seeks to trick you into clicking on a link that will unleash malicious software that can log keystrokes to capture your login credentials. They can then access and pillage your online accounts.

Defense tips:

  • Keep your antivirus software and firewalls updated.
  • Educate your employees on how to identify a potential phishing email.
  • Never click on a link without verifying the source.
  • Link your accounting software to your bank accounts to monitor your transactions daily.

False Invoices

Scammers take advantage of your business receiving many bills each month by slipping in a fake invoice. It could be for an ad you never ran, a membership to a trade group or office supplies you did not order.

Defense tips:

  • Have all current vendors listed in your accounting software so they can be crosschecked with invoices.
  • Ensure your employees follow proper payables procedures and question any invoice that does not have proper backup.

For more tips on small business scams and other forms of detecting online fraud, click here.

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