Fraudsters have firmly established a presence in the digital arena and operating online can provide them with the perfect cover without even having to step outside the door.
For example, there are various tools available that are designed to confirm the identity of consumers created by verification experts to help businesses and these can be used to help you avoid the prospect of caught out by a fraudulent customer, which can be hugely damaging to your business.
Here is a look at some of the classic fraud tactics you need to be wary of and ways to counteract against the fraudster’s actions.
Phishing is an ever-present danger
It is estimated that about a third of all fraudulent activities are supported or started by phishing.
All it takes is an email or a malicious attachment for your personal and sensitive data to be compromised and then used to perpetrate a further crime, such as obtaining loans against your name and without your knowledge, until it’s too late.
Phishing takes many different forms and can be an email that looks like it is from your bank to a request for payment or information that is not genuine.
Your business will need to be extremely vigilant in combatting the threat of phishing.
Computer virus scam
Another common scam that is often used to target businesses involves an unsolicited call or email telling you that your computer system has been infected with a damaging virus.
A genuine virus could indeed be very problematic for your business and could threaten the stability of your sensitive data as well as costing a lot of money to resolve, but is the virus threat as real as you are being told?
Fraudsters will demand a fee to put things right and remove the virus but you will need to use a trusted source to verify whether the threat is genuine before you make any payment or download a “fix” that could be just the start of your problems rather than a solution.
It is not uncommon for scammers to attempt to extract payment from a business by claiming that you have already placed an order or signed a leasing agreement and payment is now due.
Equipment lease scams and office supplies that are wildly overpriced are just two examples of ways that fraudsters might try to extract monies from your business.
The key is to have an established purchasing system and chain of command so that all invoices and requests for payment are properly verified.
Another scam that will often prove lucrative for fraudsters is when they target your business claiming that they represent an official body like a data compliance regulatory body.
They will claim that you have breached certain rules, such as failing to protect the privacy of consumer data that you store on your system, issuing you with a fake fine for this alleged contravention of rules and regulations.
There are many business owners who might be worried by this accusation and pay the fine to resolve the issue without checking out whether the approach is genuinely from an official body or not.
Being caught by an online scam can be damaging to your business in both financial and reputational terms, so it makes sense to try and be as vigilant as possible at all times.