The Common Scams That Could Destroy Your Small Business

FRESNO, California – Cody Sarhan, Communications Specialist

Running a small business in California comes with its own set of challenges, but the growing threat of scams can turn those challenges into bankruptcy. Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, targeting small businesses with deceptive tactics designed to steal money and sensitive information. Understanding these scams and taking proactive measures to protect your business is crucial.

Learn more: How Xobee can help safeguard your business data

In the past we’ve covered the top business scams in 2024, as well as the monster in the closet that are AI Scams — we’ve also discussed how to spot that monster and protect yourself against it. Today though, let’s discuss the most common scams that target small businesses. These are the tried and true methods that scammers always rely on, and the ones you’re likely to see the most.

Fake Invoices & Unordered Merchandise

One of the most common scams involves fake invoices for products or services you never ordered. Scammers send these fraudulent invoices hoping your accounts payable department will process them without question. Similarly, they might send unordered merchandise, and then follow up with aggressive demands for payment. Remember, by law, unsolicited merchandise is yours to keep for free.

Online Listing & Advertising Scams

Another prevalent scam involves fraudulent advertising opportunities or directory listings. Scammers pose as representatives from well-known companies, offering “free” listings or ad space. They collect your information under false pretenses, later sending inflated bills and using high-pressure tactics to coerce payment. Always verify the legitimacy of such offers and deals before committing.

Business and Gov’t Impersonation Scams

Scammers often impersonate utility companies, government agencies, or even your own business partners. They might threaten to cut off services due to unpaid bills, demand payment for supposed fines or fees, or insist you purchase compliance materials you can get for free. They may also pretend to be from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, demanding immediate payment to avoid losing your trademark. Always verify the identity of the caller, through trusted channels, and the legitimacy of their claims before taking any action.

Tech Support Scams

Tech support scams start with unsolicited calls or alarming pop-up messages claiming there’s a problem with your computer security. The scammer’s goal is to gain access to your system, steal sensitive data, or trick you into paying for unnecessary services. Legitimate tech companies will never contact you this way. If you receive such a call or message, disconnect immediately and contact your IT provider directly.

Phishing, Social Engineering, and Ransomware

Cybercriminals use phishing emails, fake social media contacts, and deceptive phone calls to trick employees into revealing sensitive information. These scams often create a sense of urgency, making the recipient feel compelled to act quickly without verifying the request. In more severe cases, scammers deploy ransomware, locking your business’s files and demanding a ransom for their release. Educate your employees on recognizing phishing attempts and ensure robust cybersecurity measures are in place.

Fake Review Scams

Scammers may offer to boost your online reviews, promising to replace negative reviews with positive ones. Remember, fake reviews are illegal, and legitimate business growth takes time and genuine customer feedback.

Protect Your Business

Staying vigilant against these scams is critical for the safety and success of your business. At Xobee, we understand the importance of protecting your business from these threats. Our services, including virus and spam protection, cloud hosting solutions, backup redundancies, and data restoration and disaster recovery services, provide robust defense and more. Let us be your one-stop shop for all your business technology needs.

For more information on how to better protect your business, contact one of our highly skilled technicians today.

Xobee now has engineers servicing clients within Fresno, Clovis, Madera, San Jose, Sacramento, San Francisco & the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Las Vegas, Bakersfield, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Anaheim, Palm Springs, and more.

Cody Sarhan | Communications Specialist, Xobee Networks

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