Call Scams that Target Small Businesses – How to Protect?

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fergewtThere are quite a few challenges you face while trying to enhance the quality and profitability of your business. One of these challenges, and rather threatening too, is the attack by fraudsters on businesses. There are various ways by which swindlers come for your business, but the most common are internet fraud and phone scams.

TOLL FRAUD

In a toll fraud, businesses are made to pay for a distanced call made through their voicemail system fraudulently. With this, they can enter the system’s default password until they have access to a vulnerable mailbox. They do this by using an unchanged password or just trial and error system. Once they are in, they begin to rack up significant charges on your account. To be safe from this, you should make your password more secure and even change it periodically, say after every three months. Furthermore, you should disable or block unused features in your voicemail system. Such features include the through dialing, 101xxx, 0-11, 0+ and call forwarding.

PHONE CALL SCAM

The phone scam fraudsters trick you into giving away personal details that enable them to withdraw money from your bank account or perhaps trick you into sending money to them. As a business owner, you should be watchful for people who might be impersonating your customers and/or suppliers. Do not make any payment or change in who a payment should go to without checking through your customers and suppliers information database to retrieve their contact and confirm their awareness of such transaction.

Do not disclose information such as confidential information, passcodes, and card details, to any unsolicited callers. Also, do not press one or any number to either speak with a live person or get more information if the number is unknown. Doing so might mean you are registering for a service that you will begin to be charged for. It is advisable that you do not use ‘yes’ as a reply on such calls or any call for that matter. Your voice may be recorded and then use it to authorize a service that you will be billed for.

TEXT SCAMS

In this system, an unsolicited message is sent to your mobile claiming to be from your bank or any other public service provider, asking you to visit a given link, call a particular number or verify your security and personal details. To worsen the matter, due to the advancement in technology, these texts can appear legitimate as though they are from an official channel. You are safe if you do not reply to unsolicited messages, do not follow the link quoted in the message, do not call any number included and be aware that banks will never send you texts has to do with your online banking details.

MISSED CALL SCAM

The missed calls scam is another form of scam. In this system, a number looking like a genuine but unrecognized mobile or landline number that has your local area code calls you in your off hours. Unsuspectingly, you call such number back when you resume, informing them that you are now available. Once you call back, the call is diverted to a premium rate service where you are charged heavily per call. To protect yourself against this, try not to call back unrecognized numbers even if it’s during work hours unless the caller dropped a message that explains his intentions and purposes.

GENERAL PRECAUTION

Apart from the solutions discussed above, there are a few general precautions to ensure your business’s safety. The first is to ensure that you confirm any unsolicited number that calls you before dealing with them. A good website to check is http://check-caller.net/.

Another solution is to ensure that you download and install apps that help you filter and block numbers that are suspicious. Fortunately, these apps are free and numerous on the internet. Alternatively, you can register your number on the Do Not Call registry. It is possible that this is not completely efficient, but it helps to block some of these unwanted calls.

To be safe, it is advisable to forward calls from unsolicited numbers to voicemail to check if the caller will leave a message. Most genuine telemarketers will not leave a message but possibly call back later. If a supposed telemarketer leaves a message, ignore it. If the call is from a potential customer or supplier, it is possible to determine the caller’s intention or purpose from the message left in the voicemail.

Published by Kidal Delonix (766 Posts)

Kidal Delonix is a contributor to Mr. Hoffman's blog. The views and opinions are entirely his/her own and may not reflect Mr Hoffman's views.

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