Enterprise networking magazine in a recent article talks about how companies can fight against scams. Cyber attacks are constantly on the increase. Organizations should have tools to spot these scams early and ban them from happening again.
Every business is susceptible to scams and scammers. Cybercriminals adapt their methods as fast as cybersecurity companies create new products and services. Fraud may be a significant way during which businesses lose money. The media is crammed with stories about fraud against individuals, but companies are even as likely to be fraud victims. These frauds can take several types and can be a threat to people.
COMMON SCAMS THAT TARGET SMALL BUSINESS
Scammers create phony invoices that look like they’re for products or services your business uses — maybe office or cleaning supplies or domain name registrations. Scammers hope the person who pays your bills will assume the invoices are for things the company actually ordered. Scammers know that when the invoice is for something critical, like keeping your website up and running, you may pay first and ask questions later. Except it’s all fake, and if you pay, your money may be gone.
Unordered Office Supplies and Other Products
Someone calls to confirm an existing order of office supplies or other merchandise, verify an address, or offer a free catalog or sample. If you say yes, then comes the surprise — unordered merchandise arrives at your doorstep, followed by high-pressure demands to pay for it. If you don’t pay, the scammer may even play back a tape of the earlier call as “proof” that the order was placed. Keep in mind that if you receive merchandise you didn’t order, you have a legal right to keep it for free.
Directory Listing and Advertising Scams
Con artists try to fool you into paying for nonexistent advertising or a listing in a nonexistent directory. They often pretend to be
from the Yellow Pages. They may ask you to provide contact information for a “free” listing or say the call is simply to confirm your information for an existing order. Later, you’ll get a big bill, and the scammers may use details or even a recording of the earlier call to pressure you to pay.
Utility Company Imposter Scams
Scammers pretend to call from a gas, electric, or water company saying your service is about to be interrupted. They want to scare you into believing a late bill must be paid immediately, often with a wire transfer or a reloadable card or gift card. Their timing is often carefully planned to create the greatest urgency — like just before the dinner rush in a restaurant.
Government Agency Imposter Scams
Scammers impersonate government agents, threatening to suspend business licenses, impose fines, or even take legal action if you don’t pay taxes, renew government licenses or registrations, or other fees. Some businesses have been scared into buying workplace compliance posters that are available for free from the U.S. Department of Labor. Others have been tricked into paying to receive nonexistent business grants from fake government programs. Businesses have received letters, often claiming to be from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, warning that they’ll lose their trademarks if they don’t pay a fee immediately, or saying that they owe money for additional registration services.
Tech Support Scams
Tech support scams start with a call or an alarming pop-up message pretending to be from a well-known company, telling you there is a problem with your computer security. Their goal is to get your money, access to your computer, or both. They may ask you to pay them to fix a problem you don’t really have, or enroll your business in a nonexistent or useless computer maintenance program. They may even access sensitive data like passwords, customer records, or credit card information.
Social Engineering, Phishing, and Ransomware
Cyber scammers can trick employees into giving up confidential or sensitive information, such as passwords or bank information. It often starts with a phishing email, social media contact, or a call that seems to come from a trusted source, such as a supervisor or other senior employee, but creates urgency or fear. Scammers tell employees to wire money or provide access to sensitive company information. Other emails may look like routine password update requests or other automated messages but are actually attempts to steal your information. Scammers also can use malware to lock organizations’ files and hold them for ransom.
Business Promotion and Coaching Scams
Some scammers sell bogus business coaching and internet promotion services. Using fake testimonials, videos, seminar presentations, and telemarketing calls, the scammers falsely promise amazing results and exclusive market research for people who pay their fees. They also may lure you in with low initial costs, only to ask for thousands of dollars later. In reality, the scammers leave budding entrepreneurs without the help they sought and with thousands of dollars of debt.
Changing Online Reviews
Some scammers claim they can replace negative reviews of your product or service, or boost your scores on ratings sites. However, posting fake reviews is illegal. FTC guidelines say endorsements — including reviews — must reflect the honest opinions and experiences of the endorser.
Credit Card Processing and Equipment Leasing Scams
Scammers know that small businesses are looking for ways to reduce costs. Some deceptively promise lower rates for processing credit card transactions, or better
deals on equipment leasing. These scammers resort to fine print, half-truths, and flat-out lies to get a business owner’s signature on a contract. Some unscrupulous sales agents ask business owners to sign documents that still have key terms left blank. Don’t do it. Others have been known to change terms after the fact. If a sales person refuses to give you copies of all documents right then and there — or tries to put you off with a promise to send them later — that could be a sign that you’re dealing with a scammer.
Fake Check Scams
Fake check scams happen when a scammer overpays with a check and asks you to wire the extra money to a third party. Scammers always have a good story to explain the overpayment — they’re stuck out of the country, they need you to cover taxes or fees, you’ll need to buy supplies, or something else. By the time the bank discovers you’ve deposited a bad check, the scammer already has the money you sent them, and you’re stuck repaying the bank. This can happen even after the funds are made available in your account and the bank has told you the check has “cleared.”
This kind of scam includes hiding or undervaluing assets, giving information out about the corporate, or destroying the relevant documents. This fraud happens only a borrower purposefully hides assets to avoid paying a debt during a bankruptcy proceeding. It also comprises giving false records or information before or during the bankruptcy.
Mail and Wire Scams
Both mail and wire scams are federal offenses. Mail scam happens when an individual uses U.S. mail (USPS), FedEx, United Parcel Service (UPS), or electronic transmissions to make false representations. Transmission, like the internet, TV, or radio, to make false representations. These scams also can take the shape of sweepstakes and telemarketing trials.
Customers or buyers can deceive a business in several ways, including writing fraud checks, using bad credit cards, and shoplifting. Differently includes the returning of things not purchased to urge a refund, rather referred to as return fraud, or recording a false claim for an accident or injury on the property.
Identity theft is understood as stealing individual or business information, which is typically electronic but not exclusive. This will comprise tax information and MasterCard fraud. Workers can steal MasterCard or other private information when serving a customer. The theft of identity information may be a planned use of another person’s personal and personal information to achieve financial benefits.
Almost all businesses can eventually target fraud. Fortunately, awareness goes away greater than helping the companies devour on the potential characteristics of scams and fraud and better understand how to fight back.
Guide For Business Scams
HOW CAN I PROTECT MY BUSINESS?
Train Your Employees
- Your best defense is an informed workforce. Explain to your staff how scams happen and share this brochure with them. Order free copies at FTC.gov/Bulkorder.
- Encourage people to talk with their coworkers if they spot a scam. Scammers often target multiple people in an organization, so an alert from one employee about a scam can help prevent others from being deceived.
- Train employees not to send passwords or sensitive information by email, even if the email seems to come from a manager. Then stick with the program — don’t ever ask for sensitive data from employees by email.
Verify Invoices and Payments
- Check all invoices closely. Never pay unless you know the bill is for items that were actually ordered and delivered. Tell your staff to do the same.
- Make sure procedures are clear for approving invoices or expenditures. To reduce the risk of a costly mistake, limit the number of people who are authorized to place orders and pay invoices. Review your procedures to make sure major spending can’t be triggered by an unexpected call, email, or invoice.
- Pay attention to how someone asks you to pay. Tell your staff to do the same. If you are asked to pay with a wire transfer, reloadable card, or gift card, you can bet it’s a scam.
- Don’t believe your caller ID. Imposters often fake caller ID information so you’ll be more likely to believe them when they claim to be a government agency or a vendor you trust.
- Remember that email addresses and websites that look legitimate are easy for scammers to fake. Stop and think about whether it could be a scam before you click. Scammers even can hack into the social media accounts of people you trust and send you messages that appear to be from them. Don’t open attachments or download files from unexpected emails; they may have viruses that can harm your computer.
- Secure your organization’s files, passwords, and financial information. For more information about protecting your small business or non-profit organization’s computer system, check out the FTC’s Small Business Computer Security Basics.
Know Who You’re Dealing With
- Before doing business with a new company, search the company’s name online with the term “scam” or “complaint.” Read what others are saying about that company.
- 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 is more reliable than any sales pitch.
- Don’t pay for “free” information. You may be able to get truly free business development advice and counseling through programs like SCORE.org.(link is external)
Companies Need to have proper cybersecurity and spam filters installed to avoid scams. These are the common scams that take place and attack people. One needs to be aware of these scams happening in the industry. The scams have been on the rise during the pandemic and one needs to know how they can overcome any of these situations.
How Reviews Influence the Purchasing Decision of a Customer | Enterprise Networking Magazine Review
Enterprise networking magazine review the importance of customer reviews for a product as it increases its credibility and influences customers purchasing decisions.
FREMONT, CA: According to research, consumers like to see reviews about products and services before making the purchase, but they also look for minute details in the customer reviews. Customers are interested to know about the experiences and issues, how the companies have treated complaints, and whether the product or service remained committed to the claims, and many more.
According to their study, 97 percent of respondents said customer feedback influences their purchasing decisions. When there are no customer reviews, 92 percent of customers hesitate to make a purchase, and 94 percent read reviews when available.
There is no doubt that reviews are crucial for a product, and it can influence the consumers. Here are three ways how reviews affect customer purchases.
Customers put more importance on online reviews as they are personal recommendations.
When it comes to a company's reputation, word-of-mouth has always been a significant factor. However, with today's extensive internet access, online reviews now have the same importance as personal recommendations. It's crucial to note that customers can trust a review that is both high-quality and credible. If it seems spammy or paid for, it will most probably have the opposite result and turn consumers off.
Reviews produce an uplift in sales.
Customers are more likely to buy from a website with customer reviews than from one without it. Displaying reviews on the website creates trust in prospective customers' purchasing decisions and eliminates doubts, resulting in a higher conversion rate. It can also support the growth of the brand's reputation and dependability. All of this leads to further sales from the increase in conversion rate, visitor return rate, and average order size.
People hesitate to do business with a company if it has negative online reviews.
Negative reviews have a negative effect on the business. A negative review reflects poorly on the consistency and dependability of the product or service. However, there is a significant factor that the companies must consider: a product or service page's reputation can also get damaged if there is no negative feedback. All positive reviews indicate that the page is fake, while one or two minor negative reviews suggest that it is a legitimate business.