You have almost certainly been exposed to consumer scam materials in some form or another. You may have read in the news about someone signing fraudulent checks or an elderly relative whose money was taken by a phony tech support person. Unfortunately, these scammers also target a wide range of other businesses.
Business scams may affect victims emotionally as well as their cash balances and credit ratings. The predominance of scams is possibly the most troubling aspect. If you do not want to be a victim of a business scam in 2023, you must be aware of the red flags to look out for. As a result, this article will explore the most common business scams to be aware of in 2023.
Common business scams in 2023
Fraudsters create phony invoices that seem to be for things or services that your company legitimately purchases, such as cleaning supplies, office supplies, or domain name registrations. These scammers believe that the person in charge of paying your bills would erroneously think the phony invoices are for actual products acquired by the firm. Scammers know that their victims are more willing to pay a bill without asking questions if it is for an important service, like keeping your website up and running. Unfortunately, it’s all a scam, and your money might be stolen if you pay.
Con artists will claim to give you fake advertising or directory entries to take your money. They often pretend to be from legitimate organizations when, in fact, they are not. They will either ask for your information to set up a “free” listing or say they need it to finish a deal that is already in the works. In any case, you could wind up having to. Con artists will send you a big bill and scare or frighten you into paying using data from your discussion or even a tape of it.
Utility company impersonation scams
The scammers may call you, pretending to be from your utility provider and threatening to switch off your gas, power, or water supply until you make an immediate payment. They’ll threaten legal action if you don’t settle an old debt as soon as possible, and they’ll want you to pay using a wire transfer, reloadable card, or gift card. Their timing is often carefully organized to generate the maximum sense of urgency, such as shortly before the dinner rush in a restaurant.
Government agency impersonation scams
Scammers can masquerade as government authorities and threaten to revoke your company’s license, issue penalties, or even take legal action if you fail to pay your taxes, renew any government licenses or registrations, or pay any other expenses. Businesses have been duped into paying to participate in government initiatives that give them commercial benefits that do not exist.
Some companies have also received letters and call threatening to terminate their trademark registrations or notifying them that they owe money for further registration services if a penalty is not paid on time. The letters and calls warn that the firm would lose its trademark protection if the trademark costs are not paid on time. When you receive such calls, the best bet is to use PhoneHistory to verify the numbers. Doing so will help you learn more about the caller and confirm whether they are genuine government officials.
Tech support scams
Many technical assistance scams begin with an unsolicited phone call or alarming pop-up message claiming to be from a reliable source and notifying you that your computer’s security has been compromised. They may attempt to dupe you into paying them to remedy a problem that does not exist, or they may try to persuade you to enroll your company in an unnecessary or nonexistent computer maintenance program. They may also get access to sensitive information, such as passwords, customer data, or credit card information.
Online fraudsters may use social engineering to deceive workers into disclosing personal information. The initial stage in a social engineering assault might be phishing emails, social network interactions, or phone calls that seem to be from a trusted source (such as a manager or another senior employee). Con artists target business employees by asking for payments or access to confidential company data. Emails that appear innocent, such as those requesting you to update your password or telling you of system changes, may be harmful efforts to obtain access to your account.
Business promotion and coaching scams
Fraudsters may provide bogus services in business consultancy and web marketing. Fraudsters use phony testimonials, videos, seminar presentations, and telemarketing calls to make exaggerated claims about the fantastic outcomes and unique market data they would supply to their paying consumers. Another possibility is that they may claim inexpensive upfront fees to entice you, only to demand several thousand dollars in add-ons later. The would-be business owners are thousands of dollars in debt without the assistance promised by the con artists.
Credit card processing and equipment leasing scams
Fraudsters target small company owners because they know they’ll fall for any scam promising substantial savings. Some businesses may fraudulently claim to provide lower credit card processing or better equipment leasing prices to attract clients. Con artists will employ subtle methods, such as fine print, half-truths, and outright falsehoods, to deceive a company owner into signing a contract.
Some parties have been known to amend the parameters of an agreement after it has been made. Suppose the salesperson refuses to produce copies of all documents at the time of your request or tries to put you off by suggesting they’ll be delivered later. In that case, this might be a warning indicator that you’re dealing with a scam artist. Another red flag is if they try to postpone mailing them by stating they’ll do it later.
Fake check scams
A check scam occurs when a con artist overpays with a check and then requests that the victim transfer the difference to themselves or someone else. Scammers nearly usually have a valid reason for requesting a significant quantity of money all at once, whether it’s because they’re temporarily imprisoned overseas, need to pay specific taxes or fees, have an approaching supply run, or any other reason. When your bank learns you deposited a fake check, the con artist will have already received the monies you paid them.
In 2023, a variety of scams exist, some are wholly novel and others are tried and true classics. You may safeguard yourself by behaving prudently, slowing down, and avoiding deals that seem too good to be true. While most individuals you meet will not purposefully take advantage of you, you may avoid being scammed by learning to recognize the signs of con artists.