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B2B Scams and How to Protect Your Business From Being Scammed

Dec 08, 2020 - Koby Pearson

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Most of us are aware of personal scams, like social profiles hacking, installing malicious software, and purchasing fake things on fake websites. Because of the spread of personal issues, the scams that affect businesses are often neglected. Nevertheless, the problem is significant.

B2B scams are the ones that affect all types of business. Fraudsters can start by sending fake invoices for stationary and finishing withdrawing all the money from your bank account. To make sure you don’t get scammed, get acquainted with the most well-known scamming schemes that companies can face:

Variety of B2B Scams

  • False Invoices
  • Fake Service Bills
  • Workplace Intruders
  • Bank Account Takeover
  • Phishing
  • Insurance Fraud
  • Vanity Awards
  • Directory Scam
  • Broker Scam

False Invoices

Most likely, your company receives many bills every month: advertising, office supplies, and more. Your bills are a vast work field for scammers who can charge you for a never existing ad or for stationery you have never ordered. Before paying any invoices, carefully check if the supply company is on your supplier list. Accounting software will assist you here.

Fake Service Bills

Not only you pay for office supplies, monthly you need to pay bills for electricity, phone services, the Internet, and more. Scammers know that these services are essential, and they can trick you with fake invoices. These invoices contain a threat to cut the services off if you don’t pay right now.

Remember that legitimate companies always send bills in advance. Even if you get behind on your payment, they will first send you written notifications with official stamps and signatures. If you haven’t received any of it, call the service provider to see whether you have a debt.

Workplace Intruders

Do you know every single person in your company? If it counts less than 50 people, maybe. But what if there are several hundred?

Pay close attention to the security services that you provide in a company and don’t let any strangers come in and out without pre-call or pre-email. Install security cameras and hire a person to monitor the visitors: you can never tell a real mail carrier or a thief testing the waters to see what may be worth stealing.

Bank Account Takeover

Bank account takeover is one of the most severe and dangerous scams for small businesses. Fraudsters may send you fake websites with malicious software or emails containing viruses to obtain the IDs and passwords for online bank accounts and make operations with them.

Be sure to have reliable and up-to-date antivirus software and monitor your accounts daily, not to skip any suspicious operations.

Phishing

From first sight, phishing emails seem legitimate. However, although they look like a complete copy of the original website, they are fake and are designed to steal valuable data from the user: credit card numbers, document details, passwords.

As in the case with the bank account takeover, ensure you have a secure antivirus that will not allow the scammers to steal any data from you.

Insurance Fraud

Con artists may claim that they “slip and fell” at your business place and suffer from pain and non-shown on x-ray injuries. Others will wait for your vehicles to drive towards them and fake an accident. They all do it to receive the insurance payment.

Don’t neglect to invest in your security cameras and ensure you have enough insurance coverage to protect yourself against these scams.

Vanity Awards

Some scams can affect our pride. When receiving a notification that your company is on the list of the-most-ones and will be published in the next issue of a famous magazine, you can lose your head. Of course, there are expenses you must pay: printing, ordering a number for a company and family, and more.

Be sure to check if the organization is legitimate and don’t lose your head too quickly. Otherwise, you might also lose your money.

Directory Scam

Companies may call claiming they want to update your data in their directories. They can even provide you with the printed examples of their catalogs or send you the links to their websites. But in fact, they may have several printed copies for you only, and after you pay a hefty bill, they disappear.

Alertness is the key: go into details of the company providing services to make sure it’s legitimate, and research other companies listed in the directory to see if they truly exist.

Broker Fraud

Businesses aren’t always booming, and it may happen you want to sell yours one day. Make sure to contact a reputable business broker and don’t trust all the offers you receive to your email. Fraudsters can trick you and promise big money after you paying them a commission. But the scheme is simple: you pay – they disappear.

How to Avoid Being Scammed

You don’t have to take complicated measures to ensure safety. All of these measures are simple and won’t take much time. However, they can save your money and help your business not to fail:

  • Educate yourself and your team
  • Secure your property
  • Prevent cyber-attacks
  • Control your order history
  • Know your suppliers and customers
  • Report fraud

Educate Yourself and Your Team

Knowledge is power. It’s impossible to prevent fraud on your own, hence let your team help you. Hold a seminar or webinar where you explain what potential threats your employees can face and how to fight them. If you don’t have time for this, entrust someone with creating a brochure or presentation, and ensure your employees study it.

Secure Your Property

Security cameras are everywhere: shops, parking lots, streets. Don’t be greedy to pay some extra to install security cameras in and out of your working place. One day it can save you.

Prevent Cyber-Attacks

Cyber-attacks are much more popular now than breaking-in the company. Think yourself: why do you risk your life when you can send an infected email and receive access to all the money from home? Hence, use reliable services to protect your company from cyber-attacks. Don’t hesitate to consult the specialists on what software is the best for your company.

Control Your Order History

Take your budget under control. Keep invoices for all the things your company orders in one place; accounting software is the best option. When an office administrator receives an invoice for the goods, they can always check if it is not fake.

Know Your Suppliers and Customers

Knowing who your customers and suppliers are is the key to success. This knowledge will help not to let in people who can be a danger to your business.

Report Fraud

If you have become a victim of fraud, don’t be embarrassed to report it. Gather all the emails, phone numbers, and security cameras videos to make up a report, and submit a customer complaint to FTC (Federal Trade Commission).

Tags : B2B scam

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FAQ

How Do I Protect Myself From Online Fraud?

Fraud on the Internet has been around for about as long as the world wide web itself. From year to year, fraudsters develop new tricks and techniques to deceive their potential victims. To avoid getting into online traps, be sure to follow some basic rules:

  • Check your social media privacy settings and never share information with people you don’t know.
  • Create strong and different passwords for each website you use. Experts say you should change all your passwords once in a few months.
  • Always be cautious when using public Wi-Fi. You can use it for general browsing, but never use it for shopping or banking.
  • Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows, links, or attachments in emails.
  • Never send money or give credit card details, online account details, or copies of personal documents to people you don’t know or trust.
  • Be wary of unusual payment requests. Scammers will often ask you to use an atypical payment method, including gift cards or virtual currency, such as Bitcoin.

What to Do If I Have Become a Victim of Online Fraud?

Sometimes people choose not to report fraud because they are embarrassed that they fell for a scam. Remember that fraud is a crime, and fraudsters will continuously find new ways of tricking people. Anyone can become a victim, so you need to do your best to prevent this.

The first thing you should do if you become a fraud victim is to contact the police. Come to the local police station or call an emergency number to get advice. Contact your bank first if credit cards, online banking, or cheques are involved.

If your funds were transferred via an electronic payment system (PayPal, WebPay, etc.), it makes sense to contact the support service. The support service can block a scammer's account, preventing potential theft.

Can I Get My Money Back?

If fraudsters have stolen your card details, you need to call your bank's support service and block your card. After that, go to the bank and submit an application to cancel the transfer. Reviewing your application can take up to 30 days. Remember to bring evidence that you were deceived and take it both to the bank and the police.

According to the statistics, only 23 percent reported money out of the 1.7 million cases was lost, meaning you have a chance to return your funds.

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