This post may contain affiliate links and/or it may have been sponsored content. Please view our policy page for more details.
Every business owner has concerns about being scammed, but this can be even more of a worry when you are a small business operating from home. The number of small businesses being targeted is increasing and the scams are becoming more sophisticated. Keeping your home business safe from the scammers will take some effort, but could save you a lot of dollars in the long run.
Some Of The Scams You Need To Avoid
Scammer, hackers or whatever else you like to call them, have the same access to the latest technology like everyone else. The difference is, they tend to start utilizing it straight away while many small business owners are still wondering if they need it.
Fraudsters are very resourceful and will already have found a lot of information from various sources online. Quite innocently, you could be listed in a phone and other directories, and some of your details could be available in several other places. They can gather bits of information from each place, including your own website, and soon a quite a picture of the business they are intending to scam.
One way to get money out of you under false pretenses is to ask for a refund before the original payment has cleared. You, in good faith, repay them, and then they stop the processing of the payment they were supposed to have sent. Unfortunately, this is also a scam that can be carried out by employees who are in charge of refunds. They can easily send themselves one when they have never purchased anything to start with.
Another scam that is becoming very popular is to send a very official-looking email that says a government department has discovered you have overpaid them. They say send us your bank details and we will refund you the money, and it is amazing how many people fall for this one.
Don’t Fall For The Scams
There are some simple things you can do to make sure your home business is not a victim of hackers or scammers. Start by verifying your customers. Scammers will not want you to know who they really are so will use a false name. Jumio leverages advanced technology for identity verification and it will integrate into your website very easily. False names will soon show up and make it harder for them to use the refund scam.
As for the official-looking emails, no government department will contact you to tell you they owe you money. Say to the IRS, in this way, and certainly, they would never ask for your bank details. A similar one that people sometimes fall for is giving their password in response to an email that is supposedly from their bank. Once again, banks will never ask you to divulge this information. If you get any emails such as these, just delete them straight away.
If you get correspondence from a supplier, and it is just as likely to be by post, that tells you they have changed their bank details for future payments, check it out first. A call to the supplier will soon let you know if the facts in the communication are correct, and if they are not, you will also have alerted them that their name is being used in a scam.
In fact, you should take great care with any emails or letters you receive that mention bank accounts in any way shape or form. Carry out independent checks before you move forward with any of them.
Change Your Passwords
Scammers and hackers can sometimes only access your bank and other sensitive information because they have been able to work out what your password is. You should change them frequently and use long phrases as they are much harder to discover.
Keeping one step ahead of the scammers is the answer. You should always be alert to the fact that anyone on the phone or contacting you by email or letter, could be after your money in one way or another. If something does not feel right then it probably isn’t, so do not fall into the trap of believing everything you are told.
If someone is genuine they will not mind you checking them out before you deal with them, However, if they are out to scam you they will put the phone down, or not bother to follow up on the email or letter.
Scammers have been the cause of some businesses having to cease trading because of the amount of money they have got away with. Do not let this happen to you. Protect your business from them from the very start.