Scammers work in many different, shady ways. As business owners and consumers, we must be ever vigilant when it comes to business frauds that try to make a run for our money. If you’re a business owner, you should be aware of scammers that will try to ruin your business reputation. For Bartercard, scam artists are one of the most dangerous risks your business faces. Below, we offer advice on how to steer clear from the true business scams that pose major risks to your private information, reputation, and money.
Recognising a business scam
It’s not always so easy to determine if you’ve been dealing with a scammer. They’re good at what they do – constantly inventing new ways to con people and businesses. However, there are common characteristics you can look out for when someone is making an odious offer.
First, they might make what seems too attractive an offer. Of course, it’s the nature of businesses to sell what they have and make their goods and services as appealing as possible to customers. However, when someone leans too hard too early, pressuring you to sign up, make advanced payments, or dispense your private information, don’t be afraid to take a step back and demand some processing time. If they promise you an unrealistic offer but won’t give you time to verify it, you may want to think about closing a transaction with them.
When it comes to closing big deals that are only done through a call, a letter, or an email, it’s best to do one’s research first. Why? Scammers have the talent to pretend to be someone they’re not. They may introduce themselves as personnel from an organisation with authority, for example. You can’t always trust an informal conversation about business matters, especially when it comes to big transactions and dispensing vital information.
Should you feel in your gut that you’re dealing with an unreliable person or entity, don’t make any financial decisions or personal disclosures on the spot. An ethically sound business person will always give you time, because they understand that further research into their product or service should only make you want it more. If you have disclosed personal information to someone you know longer trust, contact your bank, credit company, or other institution to take action, potentially suspend your account, and report the scam to authorities.
How to protect yourselves from business scams
There are ways to protect yourself from falling prey to business scams. Intuition, along with a little common sense and adequate research, can save you from unsecured dealings that could cost you much of your hard-earned money.
- When a person or a “business” asks you to confirm or give out your credit card or bank details via phone or your email, never do it. Legitimate organisations will never ask for vital information not in person.
- When making an online purchase, make sure that the billing process is secure. You can look for the padlock symbol used on websites to check the legitimacy, and make sure the payment is initiated by you, and not by the website.
- Make sure that the business you meet has a physical address and a phone number you can call. If it doesn’t go through, it may be a scam.
- When dealing with businesses, make sure that the company is registered. You can use the Australian Companies Register to check and review the person behind the company and if it actually exists.