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Small Business BuzzWhy Small Businesses are Gullible to Scams
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What’s this world coming to that so many people are scamming others for money . . . and we’re falling for it? It really blows me away that so many people fail to do their homework and check out what their told by a random nobody who calls them up and says, “You owe us money.”
Granted, some of these scammers are good… too good really, but most of them prey on the gullible. And, unfortunately, small businesses can be far too gullible. They’re targets. New small businesses are hit by scammers because they have less experience in the ways of the business world and will probably assume everyone’s who they say they are.
Also, most small businesses are too small to afford a full-time legal staff to check out offers or claims. And many are in desperate need of investors and will jump at the chance of “free money.” And that’s what the scammers are hoping for.
There are endless scams out there, but if you own a small business, here are three common scams to look out for:
But, a couple weeks later, the check bounces because the account is closed or doesn’t exist. And you’ve just given away your product, been stuck with the bill for a bounced check, and are out $200.
What makes this work is the fact that the small business owner is gullible enough to trust that the check will clear, and that should never be the case, not even with your regular customers, and MOST ESPECIALLY not with a new customer. Give the check 7-10 days to clear the bank before you even ship the product. And, if the check is written for too much, return it and require the correct amount. Make it part of your payment policy and you’ll avoid the scammers.
The best way to avoid this type of scam is to check out any business, whether you hear of them by fax or word of mouth, before giving them your money. Check their registration with the Secretary of State and the Better Business Bureau. Ask around and see if anyone else has heard of them. Even do a Google Search. Chances are, if they’re scammers, you’ll find out real quick. And unless you can find a solid gold list of references and validation, don’t even both.
Generally, however, there is no directory to begin with and you’ve just paid to have your company name listed nowhere. As a rule of thumb, if you’ve never heard of or even seen the directory, it probably doesn’t exist.
A great way to throw the scammer for a loop is, when they call for your renewal, ask for a copy of the previous directory so that you can make sure you like they way your company is listed before it’s renewed. They’re sure to hang-up at that point.
Again, always check to verify the true existence and good standing of a company before you do business with them. I have listed helpful resources below. Don’t give the benefit of the doubt – that’s what makes you gullible in the scammer’s eyes. I guarantee, anyone who is a legitimate customer will understand your skepticism and wait patiently for you to verify their company or funds.
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Avoid Legal Trouble
By Michelle Cramer
Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 @ 12:01 AM CDT
Money, Operations, Technology |