As a small business owner, you must be vigilant to protect your business against scammers looking to harm your business’s reputation and finances. There are many kinds of scams, and the best way to prevent your small business from getting ripped off is to educate yourself on how to spot a scammer. 

Scammers have four primary strategies they use to steal someone’s money. They will try to come off as someone you can trust or as someone credible. Then they will try to create a sense of urgency and fear to get you to act immediately. Lastly, con artists use untraceable payment methods such as wire transfers, gift cards, and re-loadable cards. If someone contacts you and uses one or more of these methods, they are likely a scammer that you should ignore and report. 

Education is the best defense against scammers. Train your employees on how to spot scammers and encourage them to share any scams with their colleagues. Employees should be encouraged never to give out confidential information such as passwords through email. Any invoices your business receives should be verified and checked before payment is made.

It is important to be tech-savvy and know the tricks scammers will try to play on your small business. They may call you and have a caller ID showing they are calling from a legitimate number when they are a fraudulent business. Beware of emails that may appear to be from legitimate companies. Emails from scammers can contain viruses, so it is best not to open emails if you are unsure who they are from. Contact the company directly to verify any communication or bills when in doubt. 

Reviews and word-of-mouth can be a great way to check if a company is legit or if someone is trying to steal money. Don’t just take someone’s word. Double-check to make sure they are a real company and don’t be afraid to ask around if someone has done business with them before. If a business that contacts you does not seem to exist or has nothing but bad reviews from prior customers, they are most likely a scam that you should steer clear off.