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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Business Scams
May 19, 2010
Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
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Business ScamsThe number of crimes against businesses is increasing. About 65 per cent of businesses were affected by fraud in 2009, which was up from 57% per cent in a 2006 survey.
The main types of business fraud include anything from bounced checks, forged cash, and fake invoices, as well as online banking fraud, unauthorised direct debits, eBay and PayPal scams, charity calendars, and advertising in publications that don't exist.
An increasingly common business scam is the theft of domain names, which can be bought and used fraudulently, as well as the use of legitimate business e-mail addresses for criminal and fraudulent spam e-mails.
Other common scams include:
*Competitors using another businessís name as a search engine tag and directing potential customers elsewhere
*Trojan viruses being used to steal a businessís IP identity and using it to commit crime
*Scammers impersonating legitimate companies, and then opening an eBay account selling items that donít exist. The e-mail address is false and the legitimate company then gets the bill
The majority of businesses [85%] have a firewall to protect themselves against fraud and online crime, however only 49% used updates to receive patches to ensure their security software had up-to-date protection.
* Do not click on links contained within spam e-mail
* Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders
* To ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes, make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf
* Validate the legitimacy of the organization by directly accessing the recognized charity or aid organization's website rather than following an alleged link to the site
* Attempt to verify the legitimacy of the non-profit status of the organization by using various Internet-based resources, which also may assist in confirming the actual existence of the organization
* Do not provide personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions as providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft
If you have been a victim of internet crime, you should notify the IC3 via www.ic3.gov. Remember - always watch for scams!
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