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29
JUN
2018

Scams that target small businesses and how to avoid them

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As a small business owner, being aware of current scams and fraudulent activities is crucial. However, knowing how to combat them is even more important. We have devised a list of the current and most common scams that could affect your small business, with solutions to avoid being caught in their lies.

It is always important to protect yourself and your business against potential scams, in order to minimise the risk of a cyber data breach. Here at Todd & Cue, we can provide cyber liability insurance policies to suit your business. Contact us today for more information.

Advertising scams

This is a big one for smaller businesses. Scammers know that small business owners will want to advertise themselves as much as possible, therefore they start targeting this. Scammers will try and charge your business in exchange for listing your contact information on popular directories. This seems like a good idea, however in the end they will run off with all your money without advertising your business.  

Fake HMRC emails

Unfortunately, many small businesses are falling into these fake HMRC email traps. It is a common misconception that hackers will only try and target bigger businesses. Small businesses are a huge target for hackers, they will tend to target a lot of small businesses rather than just one big business – this way they have more opportunity of capturing something.

Things to look out for in fake HMRC emails are:

  • Fake email addresses – fraudsters often use email addresses that contain words like GOV, revenue and HMRC to make them look more official.
  • Demanding immediate action – any scam will generally try and scare you into doing something quickly, leaving less time to think about whether or not it is right. Emails including phrases like ‘you only have two days to respond’ are normally fake.
  • Dodgy links – links in an email you think could be fake should be treated with caution. We recommend not clicking on anything you aren’t expecting.

If you are ever unsure about the ‘HMRC’ email you have received, always contact the scams and phishing department for more information.

Big opportunity scams

As a small business owner, you are probably looking for new opportunities all the time – scammers are unfortunately very aware of this. Scammers may say things like, “your revenue will increase overnight, but you don’t need to do anything”. If the offer sounds too good to be true, then chances are it probably is! That isn’t to say you shouldn’t go looking for new opportunities or that everything is a scam, all we recommend is that you treat every situation very cautiously.

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