Tips To Avoid Scams

Scam. The word causes headaches, inflames ulcers and is generally anxiety provoking. 

This week’s tip offers you some suggestions to avoid scams that you should be aware of and links to popular websites that may offer you insight into the most popular scams.

 

Dictionary.com defines a scam as both a noun and verb: 


Noun: a confidence game (con) or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.  Verb: scammed, scamming, to cheat or defraud with a scam.

All kinds of people and companies may be vulnerable to scams. With ever improving technology, the pool of potential victims is increasing.  If you think that because you are a small business owner you may not be on the radar of a scammer - think again.
 
There are so many threats online from computer viruses, malware, and ransom-ware that a single click could render your business susceptible and leave you vulnerable. There are also people that target companies and individuals directly.  Here's some tips to avoid these potential pitfalls.  
 
 


Computer/Network Suggestions:

  • Update your operating systems to the most up-to-date version available.

  • Backup your important files daily to a system that is not subject to the vulnerability of the Internet.  This could be a computer, hard drive or other method.

  • Never open suspicious email attachments and never download a program or application that you haven’t verified – read the reviews prior to installation. 

  • Take time to train your employees to question suspicious links and attachments and to never open an email from a sender that is unknown to them. 

  • Pay attention to the email addresses, hackers are clever and may add an extra letter in an email address to make it appear that the sender is a legitimate sender when this isn’t the case.

  • Question requests for usernames or passwords.

  • Install, update, and renew if expired your antivirus programs and run them to make sure that you don’t have virus that could derail your business or your life.  


What about dealing with an individual?

  • Sounds to good to be true. Many professionals agree on several websites that if something sounds to good to be true, it often is.  An example of this might be where someone is offering you high guaranteed returns on an investment. Think Bernie Madoff.

  • Sense of urgency. If the person that you are dealing with has a “sense of urgency” it is often suspicious and may not provide you with the time to do your research and due diligence. It’s not the best idea professionally or personally to act without doing some basic research.

  • Limited language skills/threat of deportation. Additionally, the IRS notes on their website that, “Con artists often approach victims with Limited English Proficiency in their native language, threaten them with deportation, police arrest and license revocation, among other things” in order to scam.


 
Websites for your reference:

Here are a few websites that may be worth a read to familiarize your self with the latest trending scams that could affect you personally or professionally.
 
https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts
 
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts
 
http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/
 
You can also go to your local newspapers online and search for scams to bring up recent fraud in your area. 


 

Suspect fraud in your business? FL-Accounting & Advisers offers Forensic Accounting services. Our company uses their investigative skills to analyze your financial statements, contracts for compliance and reviews your accounting controls to determine if your firm has been subjected to financial fraud.  

Contact our firm for a complimentary consultation to discuss the details of your business. Our clients range from medium-sized companies to entrepreneurs! We offer you a peace of mind by providing you with customized accounting services in our Boutique Accounting Company.  


Here's to your success!

Wendy Ettorre