Roedel Parsons Koch Blache Balhoff & McCollister

Stopping scams against small businesses

When it comes to the victims of financial scams, most of us envision elderly individuals who are duped into giving away their retirement savings, or something similar. However, many financial scams actually target companies and business owners.

From falsified invoices and fake tech support offers to ransomware computer viruses and advertising schemes, today’s businesses must navigate a minefield of fraud.

How to identify a business scam

Here are a few of the most common tactics that scammers use when targeting small businesses:

  • Creating a sense of fear. Most scammers will insist that you must go along with their scheme – otherwise your website will disappear from the internet, your merchandise will not be manufactured or some other calamity will befall your company.
  • Demanding that you take instant action. By promoting a false sense of urgency, scammers try to prod you into making unscrupulous agreements or paying for services your business does not need.
  • Asking for payment through untraceable methods. Scammers obviously do not want to be caught. To this end, they tend to avoid traceable transactions such as checks. Instead, they may ask for an anonymous wire transfer or a gift card.

What you can do in response

Last month, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other agencies revealed the results of a recent initiative intended to protect small businesses owners from fraud. In addition to directly combating various scams, the initiative provides educational resources for businesses.

If you believe your business may have been targeted by a scammer, you have several options. You can report the incident to the FTC or the BBB. You can also contact a law firm that handles complex business and civil litigation for advice about potentially recovering compensation for your financial losses through a lawsuit.

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