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Three types of scams that could affect your small business

Every business owner knows: starting and operating your business hardly ever runs smoothly. Every business owner should expect the unexpected, and be vigilant of anything that could hurt their businesses, their employees or their bottom line.

Business scams are all too common, and often prey upon small businesses that don’t have the time or the resources to protect themselves against their tactics. Below are some common scams that target small business owners, as identified by the FTC.

1. Fake directory listings

With so many online directories on the internet, you may lose track of where you choose to post your business’s information. Fraudsters take advantage of this, sending you fake invoices, threats and collection calls to get you to pay for a listing that may not even exist. Make sure both you and your employees are vigilant about these scams, so you don’t end up throwing money away.

2. URL renewal invoices

If your business has a website, you may receive emails or letters warning you that your web address, or URL, is about to expire. These messages could have fake company logos on them to trick you into believing their authenticity, and often stress that action needs to be taken as soon as possible to keep your website running.

These invoices are often fraudulent, from scammers who hope that you will pay first and ask questions later. Be sure to contact your hosting company directly to discuss the details of your website, rather than submitting payment for any invoice you receive.

3. Fraudulent charity organizations

Many businesses are proud to support local charitable organizations and causes. Even something as small as a fund for local firefighters or ad space in a local nonprofit publication could turn out to be fake – with scammers collecting your charitable donation and taking off with the money.

The best way to protect yourself against this scam, as well as any of the others you may face, is to do your research. If you start to ask questions and don’t receive detailed information about where your money is going, you may be walking into a scam.

Scam artists are still in business because people keep falling for their tactics. Business owners should be aware of the common scams in today’s marketplace, and ensure they are well protected throughout the operation of their business so they don’t lose more money to fraudsters.

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White Peck Carrington | 26 Broadway | P.O. Box 950 | Mount Sterling, Kentucky 40353-0950 | 859-274-4115 | Fax: 859-498-7363 | Map & Directions