When you work hard to get your business idea off the ground, you’ll be willing to do almost anything to protect it. You put financial safety nets in place, meticulously follow your carefully developed business plan and put your faith in people you know and trust. Unfortunately, not every business can keep scammers and business fraud away from their enterprise.
As a small business, it’s likely that you’ll have minimal resources to protect yourself from scammers who are trying to gain for themselves and cause a loss for your company. Businesses that are solely focused on economic growth and revenue, may not realise that they’re potentially exposed to scammers and fraudulent behaviours. In this post, we’ll explore how you can protect your startup from fraud with 3 things all entrepreneurs should know.
Be Wary of Telephonic Scams
We’ve all received strange calls from individuals who claim to know we’ve been in an accident, or who want to discuss our energy suppliers. As a start up business, these kinds of calls might catch you off guard, as you may be waiting to be contacted by utility providers or your bank. Urgent phone calls from this number, for example, could result in you handing over important information to scammers who – under the guise of a utility company – can use it to access anything from your bank details to your credit cards.
To protect yourself and your business from phishing fraud like this, make yourself aware of your utility suppliers and never hand over any information that could lead to them accessing your personal data or your finances. If you’re unsure who you’re speaking to, simply hang up the phone, or call them back on the number provided by your genuine supplier. They’ll soon tell you if the call was legitimate.
Pinpoint Which Areas of Your Business Are At Risk
Are you familiar with your online security? Or the systems you’re using? How are you storing your digital data or your paper files? How easily can employees or scammers access information about you and your business? Pinpointing the areas of your startup that could be at risk of fraud is a positive step. You should regularly review the systems and processes you have that should protect you from fraudulent behaviour.
Understand Your Finances
When you receive a call or even a visit from a potential fraudster, one of the easiest ways to get you to hand over your personal information and your business finances is to bamboozle you with numbers, statistics and figures. You might think they’re correct, or be too convinced to question the authenticity. By understanding your business finances inside and out, you’ll know whether or not you’re dealing with someone genuine, or a scam. Always check your bank statements and regularly review your business finances.
Developing an action plan against fraud can help your business avoid a substantial loss. Consider the points above to protect your startup and if you’re concerned about fraudulent behaviours, speak with the police.