Internet scams seem to be everywhere. They are constantly changing. Thus, they are evolving to become more sophisticated. So, how can you avoid internet scams targeting your small business?
The booklet [US Federal Trade Commission] has a lot of good information and brings attention to this one fact: Small business owners must talk with their employees about these harmful [internet] scams.Chicago Post Review
In the article “Small businesses face threat from internet scams” by Leanne Hoagland-Smith, she reports.
While we couldn’t find the booklet she references, we found this video. It covers the same three areas that you can find below.
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Fake Invoices – Common Intern Scam Targeting Small Business
For instance, these usually come from realistically sounding companies. They may also come from a scraped e-mail address from someone you know. Therefore, if you receive an invoice, check with the sender. Ensure that it is real. As a result, you can avoid this type of internet scam targeting your small business.
Masquerading as the Government
In addition, these scam emails come from official-sounding organizations. For instance, they will often copy the IRS Trademark, or other government logos.
Also, they can come from e-mails with IRS, etc. in the URL. But, all official correspondence from the government comes via the mail. Therefore, if you receive an e-mail notification from the government, it should be suspect. Call the respective agency to confirm.
Importantly, do not reply to the e-mail or open any attachment. Opening an attachment or replying to an e-mail may provide scammers access to your data. Don’t do it. Always double check so you can avoid internet scams target your small business.
Service Interruptions – Common Internet Scam Targeting Small Business
Finally, many scammers will pretend to be service providers. For example, they may present themselves as utility providers, internet providers, etc. Again, call to confirm.
If any company is threatening to disrupt your services, call them immediately. Do not rely on e-mail. Importantly, leave all attachments unopened. Opening or replying allows the scammers access to your data. Avoid it until you confirm. This way, you can avoid these scams targeting your small business.
Ms. Hoagland-Smith recommended the following actions to protect your business and employees:
First, educate and train your employees.
It is important to know about these scams targeting your business. Having business processes and systems can help.
Second, never share passwords
Second, never share passwords or any sensitive information via email, especially on unsecured networks.
Lastly, have invoice processes and procedures
If an invoice falls outside the process, it should be a red flag. Follow-up to ensure it’s real. As a result, you can avoid this type of internet scam targeting your small business.
Importantly, be wary of anyone asking for money, a timely reply, or immediate response. Remember, always call first to confirm. By taking these simple steps, you can avoid many of the most common internet scams targeting small business.
At ProStrategix, we know you have concerns. We’re designed to help give you the business support you need so you can focus on doing what you love. If you would like to learn about how we might be able to help you, please contact us.