When Criminals Come Calling
Smaller companies have become an increasingly attractive target for fraud. How you can avoid becoming a scam victim.
From: Inc.com | By: Samar Srivastava
Mountain States Tent & Awning has been hit by phone scammers three times in just the past year. For Mary Lee Wray, office manager of the Loveland, Colo.-based company, it began innocently enough. A caller using the TTY system, which allows hearing- and speech-disabled people send text messages over traditional phone lines, asked for six flagpoles — the most expensive ones she carries — and paid by credit card. The caller requested that Wray ship the goods to another company, along with a check for shipping costs, which the caller said he would pay for in advance.
When Wray called the flagpole supplier, the company told her they had received an internal memo about a scam that made use of the TTY system. The first name on the memo matched the caller’s name on the TTY call Wray had received. She immediately ran a check on the credit card, which turned out to be stolen from a woman in Texas….
With less money to devote to prevention, small businesses routinely find themselves on the receiving end of fraud. Over the years, business owners and local business groups have become better at spotting red flags, but the problem remains because scam artists have also adopted new methods. Similarly, while technology has made the fight against fraud easier in some cases, it’s also opened up new opportunities for criminals.
The tactics and tools may change, but experts say the fundamental component of an effective scam remains constant.
“Scam artists create a perception of credibility and then capitalize on it,” says Giovanni Coratolo, director of small-business policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. During his tenure, Coratolo says he has seen everything from the pre-Internet phonebook scams (where scammers ask businesses to pay for ads in the directories that are distributed to a very small number of people) to charity scams (small businesses are asked to donate to the local community).
In the past year, two scams in particular — TTY scams and overpayment scams — have become more prevalent, according to the Better Business Bureau….
For the entire article go to Inc.com
Corra, being a background checking concern, gets hit upon by scam artists on a regular basis. Being that we see a lot of bad news, we try to remain on our guard and to protect ourselves from the myriad scam artists and their various schemes. It sure keeps us on our toes.
Some scams are very difficult to trace and some can be prevented by careful research and scrutiny. Some scams originate or include your own employees and are generated from the inside out. This among other reasons is why you should be running background checks on all your job candidates.
For outside companies, Corra can provide research reports as well as comprehensive background checks on individuals. The main thing is pay attention. If something sounds too good to be true, it is. Check your software and databases for any suspicious listings. Before you pay a bill, call the phone number and see what your are paying for. And why.
It’s a crazy world out there. So check them out. Period.