News for Better Business Bureau Accredited Businesses
Seven Common Scams That Target Businesses
Scams that target businesses are nothing new, but the methods used to perpetrate them can be.
Share this list with your staff to reduce your risks of becoming a victim.
Online Directory Scams – These can start with a phone call or email seeking “updated”
information about your business, followed shortly by an invoice for an expensive listing in an
online business directory or Yellow Pages. Make sure you authorize payment of all invoices and
never pay for something you didn’t order.
Office Supply Scams – A caller claims to have a deal on pens, paper or other
common items, or simply calls to verify your shipping information. Next, a shipment
arrives and you discover you paid an unreasonably high price for Sharpies, or
received printer cartridges you never ordered. If the sale was misrepresented or
unauthorized, file a complaint with BBB and do not pay the invoice.
Overpayment Scams – You receive an email from an eager buyer who
“mistakenly” overpays for the order. No problem, the buyer merely asks that you wire them them
a refund of the difference. If you fall for this one, you’ll discover the buyer’s check was counterfeit
and the money you wired is gone forever.
Ransomware – An alarming notice pops up on your computer claiming the FBI has caught
you using unlicensed software. The notice displays your computer’s IP address and, if you use a
webcam, may even show a picture of you. You can make these charges disappear if you just pay a
few hundred bucks. If this happens to you, you have just become another victim of
ransomware AND your computer has been compromised with a nasty virus. Contact
your IT professional to remove it and make sure your antivirus software is always
up to date.
Vanity Awards – You just won “Business Owner of the Century.” Lucky you.
Now, for just $249, you can get a nice plaque for your office. Vanity awards are
just money-making schemes with no actual merit.
Hijacked Identity – Your company’s checking account information
or website is a handy tool for criminals. If you discover that a scammer
has copied (“cloned”) your website or has printed checks using your account
information, contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov. BBB can
also help set the record straight with consumers if you let us know.
Phishing E-mails – Never click on links or open attachments from unknown senders. This
could put you at risk for unwittingly downloading malware onto your computer or providing
sensitive private information to a criminal. If you get a suspicious e-mail from the FBI, IRS or even
BBB, don’t click any links or open any attachments until you contact the agency or organization
directly and make sure it’s legitimate.
Start With Trust® • 2800 Euclid Ave 4th Floor, Cleveland, OH 44115 • cleveland.bbb.org