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SMALL BUSINESS NEWS

Sep 2019

 

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Top 10 List of Scams and Frauds Entrepreneurs Should Pay Attention To

Entrepreneurs should pay attention to these top 10 scams that targets their small businesses.  They include:

 

1.  Fake Government Grants

2.  Going Green

3.  Tax and Bank Fee Refund

4.  Smartphone download

5.  Phantom Investors

6.  False Invoices

7.  Over-payment

8.  Credit Card

9.  Work from Home

10. Money Transfer

 

How do these scams work?

 

1.  Fake Government Grants: You search the web to find a grant for your small business and you get spot one thatís just right for you.  They offer to give you the grant without much paperwork, but you have to make a down payment.  You should not have to make down payments to get a grant.  Government Grants require that you go through a lengthy application process.  Use legitimate government website when seeking government grants.  If seeking private grants do the research on the organization offering the grant.

 

2.  Going Green:  When the government offers rebates as incentives for organizations to use energy savings equipment scammers take advantage of this by offering their own fake rebates on useless equipment.  Do your homework and stick to respected brand names.

 

3.  Tax Refund:  If youíre owed money by the IRS after filing your taxes, they will not call you up and ask for you bank information so that they could transfer the money to you.  You have already provided that information when you filed your taxes.  If you get such a call it is a fraud.  Hang up.

 

 4.  Smart Phone Download:  Malicious spyware, in the form of a game or other app, is promoted to users, who then download it. The malware then proceeds to harvest information from the smartphone, such as financial details.  Have a policy that dictates to your employees what kind of apps they can or canít download on their devices.  Have a system in place to verify that an app is secure before authorizing it for use.

 

 5.  Phantom Investor:  Phantom investors contact you presenting themselves as an agent representing someone who wants to invest in your company.  But first, you have to qualify.  In order to qualify, you have to pay for required documentation such as non-disclosure agreements, financial audits, etc.  After they've collected your payment for the documentation they disappear, and you have no investor.  If someone wants to invest in your business meet them in person.  Don't go through a 3rd party.  Do your due diligence and check on their background and history.

 

 6.  False Invoices:  Itís common for small businesses to get an invoice in the mail asking them to pay for ads in newspapers that theyíve never requested.  When you see one of these invoices ignore it.  Do not pay it. 

 

7.  Overpayment:  This usually occur when a customer pays you with a check, but in an amount over the stated price for the product.  Before youíve had a chance to deposit the check, they would ask you for a refund of the overpaid amount in cash.  You pay the difference in cash then deposit the check and find out that the check bounced.  The loss is yours.  Avoid check payments and use cash or credit card payments.

 

8.  Credit Card:  There are a few ways you could be defrauded with credit card frauds.  One of the common ways is to lure you to a fraudulent website, which obtains your credit information under false pretenses, and uses it to make purchases.  Have stated policies about which sites your business is authorized to use credit cards at.

 

9.  Work from Home:  Work from home scams usually involves scammers asking people who want to start their own business working from home to pay upfront fees in order to get the startup kit and linked to the organization youíll be doing the work for.  Once you pay the fees you never hear from them again.  No Work from Home opportunity should ever require you to pay any upfront fees.  Avoid them.

 

 10.  Money Transfer:  If you get an offer to transfer large sums of money on some elseís behalf in return for a nice fee (usually a percentage of the transferred amount) say no.  This scam requires you to provide details about your bank account which the scammer then uses to withdraw money from your account.

 

These are reporting agencies you should utilize if your business becomes the victim of a scam.

 

Learn more about scams.

Sources:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Experian
Creditcards.com

By Bill Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

  
 

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