Look Out for Fraud
Often sellers will call or email a business with offers to boost sales, advertise on major television networks and radio stations at low costs, or increase your customer base in record times. While all of those “promises” sound great for business you should ALWAYS do your research.
Be wary when these sellers demand quick payment; especially when it is the very first time you speak with them. Unfortunately, some businesses fall into this trap and give the payment, never to hear from the seller again.
Another thing to check is to see if their so called “company” has a presence on the web. Make every attempt to get their full company name and website address, if applicable, and do a Google search. 99.9% of the time Google’s search results will reveal tons of negative reviews of these scammers and lists of other names that the scammers have tried to be listed under. A terrific source of legitimate businesses practices is the Better Business Bureau.
Check Website Age
Many of the scammers out there will try very hard to convince you that they are a legitimate business with many years of experience. If this is the case then their website should reflect the amount of years that they have been in business.
Scammers representing themselves as a business will generate a quick website to look legitimate and further convince business owners to go with their services. This is another red flag that should be looked into since most of these websites are less than a year old. Well, thanks to the great people at Webconfs.com, they have a tool that will instantly check any websites age. Feel free to try it here:
Don’t Be a Scam Victim
Here are some things to watch out for when solicited from outside sources:
- If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is
- Be alert to phone, email or mail solicitations, especially when they are convincing or use high-pressure tactics
- NEVER send money, give credit card, or online account details to anyone you don’t know or trust
- Keep your invoices and receipts and check your bank account and credit card statements. ALWAYS report unauthorized transactions to your bank
- Create clear policies on who is authorized to pay your companies’ bills to maintain control of your finances
- Do not sign anything until you have read and understand ALL of the terms and conditions
- ALWAYS get advice if an offer involves a significant amount of money
For more information on small business scams, online scams, and identity theft, visit the Scamwatch website.