Business Scams

Don’t be a victim

Find out more There’s a wealth of information online warning about the dangers of scams and how to spot them, including: l An informative, but light-hearted film about business scams from Canada l How to register your business with the Telephone Preference Service l How to spot – and then avoid – getting caught out by scams targeting businesses l A comprehensive guide from the Metropolitan Police l Up-to-date news about the latest scams with Action Fraud summer 2016 Business scams Businesses can get caught out by scams, and small firms are particularly at risk. If you run a business, it is worth spending some time thinking about what type of scams are out there and what you can do to avoid them. You should remain vigilant because scams change, new ones appear all the time and old ones morph into new variations. Business scams generally fall into six categories. 1. Business advertising scams Your company is contacted by phone and asked whether it wishes to place an advertisement or listing – for example, in a directory, calendar or diary. There is often some claim that this is for the benefit of a good cause, such as a children’s charity, the police or the emergency services. 2. Unsolicited goods Your business receives several items it has not ordered, together with a large bill and subsequent threats of legal action. There are many variations on this scam. Often the sender will target a junior employee and force them into payment. 3. Cheque scams A potential buyer contacts you agreeing to pay for whatever you are offering; however, for some reason, they pay with a cheque that is for more than the amount you require. They then ask you to pay them back the excess amount. After you do this, the cheque they gave you bounces, or turns out to be forged or stolen, leaving you out of pocket. 4. Internet website registration A person rings you out of the blue, falsely claiming that someone else is trying to register the name of your company as their website domain name. To stop this happening, you have to pay them a sum of money. 5. Business rates scam You are approached by someone claiming that, for a fee, they can reduce your business rates. You pay the fee, never hear from them again and your business rates stay the same. 6. Mandate fraud You are contacted by someone pretending to be one of your suppliers. They claim they need to change some of the payment details because of a change of bank account, or some similar excuse. When you next make a payment, instead of going to your supplier, the money goes to the scammer. Credit: Bob Charnley Images: Mopic / Shutterstock New scams appear all the time and old ones morph into new variations Don’t be a victim Scams happen to businesses as well as individuals For further information please contact your local Trading Standards Service