This month we’re covering cyber safety and other issues that arise from doing business in a digitally dominant world.
A costly mistake that employees AND owners can make, is falling victim to savvy, deceptive, and convincingly real scams online.
Employees (especially in accounts, financial management or accounting) can cost businesses thousands of dollars in business cyber scams, accidentally paying bogus invoices and false instalments.
Here are four things to watch out for when it comes to cyber scams.
Scammers can hack into email databases and harvest your information to create very convincing requests for money from places you’ve recently frequented or a service you’ve signed up for.
For example, say your business recently visited Toronto in Canada for a conference that had a range of expenses. You stayed at The “Starseed Hotel” there, and left your contact details at the time of booking.
A hacker has hacked the hotel’s database and looked up all accounts for people who have stayed there in the last month.
They then set up a false email account claiming to be the hotel, with an outstanding invoice for expenses accrued during your stay, and send an invoice for a small to medium amount ($100 – 500).
To protect yourself from this, always track expenses, and if something doesn’t seem right, contact the business to follow up on the invoice.
Although many ATO scam has been around for a while now, they are becoming smoother and more convincing in nature.
The most common one involves either an email or a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Australian Taxation Office, saying you have a tax debt outstanding and if you don’t pay straight away, a warrant for your arrest will be issued.
This is a scare-tactic form of scam has cost businesses thousands of dollars every year.
To get an up to date list of current ATO scams, click here.
Another common scam is credit chargebacks.
Usually posing as a phone company you use, internet server, a bank, Government organisation or the ATO, an email or text message is sent claiming you have a credit of a certain amount of money.
It will then prompt you to click on a link or fill out personal details that will enable a scammer to use those details to steal money.
Once they have your details, they can scam you. The giveaway in this above scam example – although extremely convincing, is the spelling error at the bottom of the email.
Of course – there are pretty obvious and ludicrous scams out there you spot a mile away that involve giving your bank details or paying a small amount to a random email (claiming to be a Nigerian prince and you’re the apparent sole inheritor to a small island… or you’ve won $17, 482, 992 in a lottery in the UK), however, our point is there are many scams that aren’t so obvious.
A couple of things you can do to protect yourself include:
Protect your business from scams through ongoing training and keeping up to date with trends in scams.
For more information on how you can protect your business, email us directly at email@example.com to organise a one-on-one consultation.