“If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.”
Whether you are a business owner, company executive, and/or entrusted manager, you dedicate yourself and your efforts to help move the establishment forward, working day in and day out. While most outside bystanders don’t see the fulfilling highs and incessant lows of running a business, there are a select- yet discreet- few who are intent on disrupting your organization.
We’re talking about business scammers.
When scammers target your business, their actions can leave a lasting impact on your reputation and affect your bottom line. Your best protection? Learn the signs of scams that target businesses
Scammer signs to watch for:
Establishing false trust: To get you to quickly believe them, scammers regularly pretend to be someone that you trust. Common go-to entities used by scammers to try to connect with you are companies you know or government agencies.
Creating a false sense of urgency: Scammers are known to use electrified words and phrases with the purpose of rushing you into making a quick decision before you look into it.
Using intimidation tactics: Scammers will tell you that something terrible is about to happen to get you to send a payment before you have a chance to check out their claims.
Untraceable payment methods: More often than not, scammers want payment through wire transfers, reloadable cards, or gift cards that are nearly impossible to reverse or track.
How You Can Best Protect Yourself
Research who’s on the other line: Before conducting initial business with anyone, always research the company by typing in their company name online, followed by the term “scam” and/or “complaint”. Here, you will see everything you are looking for. When people are misused and taken advantage of, they don’t hold back, especially online. Never pay for information that you can search and find online.
When it comes to products and services for your business, ask for recommendations from other business owners in your community. Positive word-of-mouth from trustworthy people will always be more reliable than any pressing pitch.
Always Verify: Examine all of your business invoices and emphasize the rest of your staff to do the same. Never pay unless you are certain that a bill is for items that were actually placed by you and your company and they were delivered. MCDA CCG, CEO, Mike Rash recommends that you limit the amount of people in your company who are authorized to pay invoices. “Regularly review your procedures to prevent mistakes of major spending in the case of a triggering, unexpected call, text, email, or invoice”, Rash states.
Above all, always pay attention to someone asking for payment via wire transfer, reloadable card, or gift card.
Watch for these Common Scams
Scammers like to get creative and send pretend invoices posing as bills for products or services your business uses. They hope that you or whomever pays your bills will assume that these fake invoices are for services or supplies that your company ordered. Intent on triggering a response, scammers will leverage critical features such as your business website.
Changing Online Reviews
No one likes a negative review surrounding their business, especially when it’s posted online for everyone to see. Scammers know the discouraging impact a bad online review can have on a business owner, and use it to their full advantage. Unfortunately, bad reviews can come with the territory of running a business, yet many scammers claim they can replace negative reviews of your product or service. If you don’t already know, posting fake reviews is illegal, therefore this is a lie.
Tech Support Scams
From the moments the digital boom began shifting business activity, tech support scams were born. These scams always begin with an alarming call or sudden message pretending to be associated with a well-known company, “alerting” you that there is a problem with your online security. With the goal of getting your money and/or accessing your computer, they will ask you to pay them to fix a fake problem. Be careful, as they can even gain access to sensitive data like passwords, customer records, and card information.
Directory Listing and Advertising Scams
Scammers often try to trick you into paying for nonexistent advertising or a listing in a fake directory. In these cases they may ask you to provide contact information while stating that the call is only to verify your information. Later, you’ll receive a hefty bill
Government Agency Imposter Scams
Scammers often pretend to be government agents, threatening to revoke business licenses, impose fines, or even take legal action, renew government licenses or registrations, or other fees. Due to the intimidating natures of contact, many businesses have been tricked into paying for things they don’t even need.
These are just a few of the most common types of business scams, but our purpose here is to help you see the congruent pattern of scare and urgency tactics used by scammers to trick you into giving away your money or sensitive information.
Even the most successful people are known to act on emotion, and scammers have grown aware of this, developing methods to connect with leaders and strike a nerve.
Similar to the reasons you pay for auto insurance, you don’t want to take action after an accident or damage occurs. Your best protection is to stay informed and have preparation steps in place.
As mentioned, scammers are smart, therefore, they are aware of key pain points and sensitivities when it comes to your business. Your business may be experiencing situations like poor online reputation, financial difficulties, or overall doubt, making you their perfect target. While there is no such thing as instant turnaround, actions with purpose will get you a whole lot farther and make you feel that much better.
Contact our team here at MCDA CCG, INC. -headquartered in Placentia, Orange County, California- to learn how one of our trusted business professionals can empower you with the strategies to keep your business on the right tracks. We have helped numerous companies come out of the deepest trenches and appear more confident than ever.