Small Business Scams: A Guide for Protecting Your Company

FRESNO, California – Cody Sarhan, Communications Specialist

According to the Better Business Bureau, online scams rose by nearly 90% from 2015 to 2022, while phone scams have dropped by 42%.

“The shift in scam tactics is driven by a range of factors such as the rise of social media, world events, and changes in consumer behavior.” — Melissa Lanning Trumpower, Executive Director of the BB Institute for Marketplace Trust

In 2022 alone, scams that were committed online outweighed all other scams by 55%, with 75% of people losing money when targeted by fraudsters — the highest percentage to date.

Other scam delivery methods such as texting, phone, and postage mail are also rising at an unprecedented rate. One of the newest ways scammers are defrauding companies is by impersonating other businesses and using SMS messaging services to reach a larger portion of targets that are offline.

“While online scams are the most prevalent, the new way they’re finding the victims is by using impersonations and text messaging,” — Jessica Hamlin, Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio

The biggest targets for scammers are people between 18-24 and small businesses, according to the Better Business Bureau, with vendor fraud being one of the most sinister ways scammers deceive their victims.

Learn more: How BCT can protect your small business from vendor fraud

The Most Common Small Business Scams

Business Email Compromise or “BEC”. This is one of the most prevalent ways scammers defraud small businesses, resulting in more losses than any other type of business fraud in the U.S. BEC is an email phishing scam targeting payroll and finance departments — anyone who pays the bills. The fraudster pretends to be a vendor, asking for payment or money to be wired to an account they control. Sometimes they won’t ask for money, but rather just personal information about the victim or their company.

Fake Invoices. Your business will receive a fake invoice, through email or the postal service, demanding you pay for a product or service you never ordered or received. These fake invoices look official, and oftentimes fly under the radar. Always check the fine print of any invoice you receive, and if it’s fake it’ll likely say it’s a solicitation.

Example of a Fake Invoice

Directory Scams. Directory scams have been around for years. The scams involve fraudsters attempting to trick businesses into purchasing ad space for a fake directory. Regardless if the directory actually exists or not, the listing will never deliver potential clients or customers. Even if the directory sounds real, it’s not. Your business will be billed hundreds of dollars for ad space you didn’t agree to which generates no new business.

Learn more: How BCT can protect your email from spam, viruses, and more

The Most Common Small Business Scam Tactics

  • Scammers pretend to be somebody you trust or a trusted company.
  • Scammers create a sense of urgency to rush you into a bad decision.
  • Scammers use intimidation and fear.
  • Scammers typically use untraceable payment methods.

Learn more: How BCT can help protect your business from scammers

The Best Way to Protect Your Business from Scammers

The best and most secure decision you can make when avoiding any form of cyberattack — whether it’s scammers, viruses, ransomware, or more — is to invest in a cybersecurity budget.

We at BCT Consulting are the premier Managed Service Provider for innovative, cost-effective, and cutting-edge technology solutions in California. With over 25 years of experience, our highly skilled team of technicians has helped businesses, nonprofits, government entities, and other organizations by providing advanced cybersecurity against these rising threats.

We are committed to protecting client data, taking proactive measures against cyberattacks, and safeguarding our clients’ infrastructure. To learn more about how we can protect you from these ongoing threats, contact one of our team members today.

Other Ways To Protect Your Business

Outside of investing in a secure and trusted company like ours, there are a few things you can do in-house to avoid being defrauded.

Source: The Better Business Bureau & The Federal Trade Commission

BCT Consulting now has engineers servicing clients within Fresno, Clovis, Madera, San Jose, Sacramento, San Francisco & The Bay Area, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Las Vegas, Bakersfield, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Anaheim, Palm Springs, and more.

Cody Sarhan | Communications Specialist, Xobee Networks

Call Us Today!