Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  

 

Council advises businesses on how to spot and avoid being scammed

8th January 2019

Highland Council Trading Standards have produced guidance on how to spot the signs of scams that target businesses and also remind businesses to inform their employees on what to look out for when dealing with unsolicited telephone calls, emails and texts.

All businesses as well as non-profit organisations (such as charitable organisations) may spend a lot of time dealing with potential scammers. Businesses are encouraged to adopt a ‘Learn'; ‘Report’ and ‘Engage’ strategy when tackling scams as follows:

LEARN the signs of a scam

REPORT scams as soon as they have been spotted

ENGAGE with employees and colleagues when a scam is spotted to raise awareness and promote future prevention.

The advice from Trading Standards is:

Scammers' tactics - how to spot them

Scammers pretend to be someone you trust. They may pretend to be connected to a government agency or reputable company.

Scammers create a sense of urgency. They will try to rush you into making a quick decision.

Scammers use untraceable payment methods such as payment through wire transfers, reloadable cards, or gift cards that are nearly impossible to reverse or track.

Train employees

The best defence against being scammed is an informed workforce. Businesses should:

Explain to staff how scams happen and share information on scams.

Encourage people to talk with their co-workers if they spot a scam. An alert from one employee about a scam can help prevent others from being deceived.

Train employees not to send passwords or sensitive information by email. DON’T ever ask for sensitive data from employees by email.

Verify invoices and payments

Businesses should check all invoices closely and NEVER pay unless the bill is for items that your business has actually ordered and/or delivered.

Limit the number of people who are authorised to place orders and pay invoices.

Review procedures regularly to make sure major spending can’t be triggered by an unexpected call, email, or invoice.

Scammers prefer if payments cannot be traced so be aware when asked to pay by a bank transfer, wire transfer, reloadable card, or gift card.

Be tech-savvy

Imposters often use fake caller ID information so you’ll be more likely to believe them when they claim to be a government agency or a vendor you trust.

Don’t open attachments or download files from unexpected emails; they may have viruses that can harm your computer.

Secure your organisation’s files, passwords, and financial information.

Know who you’re dealing with

Before doing business with a new company, search the company’s name online with the term "scam" or “complaint.” Read what others are saying about that company.

When it comes to products and services for your business, ask for recommendations from other business owners in your community. Positive word-of-mouth from trustworthy people is more reliable than any sales pitch.

Some common scams that target small businesses can include:

Fake invoices

Unordered office supplies and other products being delivered and then billed for.

Directory listing and advertising scams

Utility company imposter scams – scammers who pretend to be from a gas, electricity or water company who may say that your service is about to be interrupted.

Government agency imposter scams – scammers who threaten to suspend licenses, impose fine or even take legal action if fees are not paid.

Tech support scams – either a call or an alarming pop-up message pretending to be from a well-known company, telling you there is a problem with your computer security. Their goal is to get your money, access to your computer, or both.

Changing online reviews - some scammers claim they can replace negative reviews of your product or service. Also posting fake reviews is illegal. Endorsements - including reviews - must reflect the honest opinions and experiences of the endorser.

Boosting your online profile - scammers also claim that they can boost your online business profile with well-known search engine companies or even claim to be acting on their behalf. Boosting your business profile can only be done through contacting the listing platform directly.

Further advice and help

For more tips on protecting your organisation from scams visit CTSI Business Companion website at: https://www.businesscompanion.info/ (external link)

If you spot a scam, report it to Action Fraud at: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime (external link). Your report can help stop the scam.

For further advice on how to protect you and your staff from cyber-attacks go to Scottish Business Resilience Centre: https://www.sbrcentre.co.uk/ (external link)

For other business advice enquiries contact Highland Council Trading Standards on telephone number 01463 228700 (Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm) or by Email: trading.standards@highland.gov.uk

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

8/11/2019
Highland Town Centre's Given A Welcome Boost
Over £2.3 million pounds of investment is set to benefit town centres across the Highlands with 30 transformational projects about to get underway to stimulate economic investment and to help towns diversify and flourish.   The Town Centre capital grant fund from the Scottish Government is targeted to encourage town and city centres to diversify and flourish, giving new purpose and creating footfall.  
7/11/2019
Can Highland Council Set Up Its Own Bus Company?Thumbnail for article : Can Highland Council Set Up Its Own Bus Company?
Transport group chair calls for immediate research on viability of publicly operated Highland bus services.   SNP Ness-side councillor Ron MacWilliam has written to members of the Highland Council Redesign board to urge them to consider options for publicly run bus services in the Highlands.  
2/11/2019
Placement Services Change Programme Helping Region's Most Vulnerable Young People
Highland Council's Placement Services Change Programme (PSCP) is helping make a real difference for the region’s most vulnerable young people.   The Placements Team in Children’s Services has developed a creative, courageous and dedicated programme to work with multi-disciplinary professionals to identify children out with Highland whose needs can be met back in the local area.  
2/11/2019
Update following Community Council nominations withdrawal period
Following the close of the Community Council Nominations on Tuesday, 29 October 2019, 20 community councils received more nominations than their maximum membership.  After the withdrawal period where candidates had the opportunity to withdraw their nomination, The Highland Council has confirmed that 16 Community Councils will be contested.  
1/11/2019
BT Public Payphone Consultation - 55 To Be Objected To By Highland CouncilThumbnail for article : BT Public Payphone Consultation - 55 To Be Objected To By Highland Council
BT are proposing to remove 110 payphones across The Highland Council area.   Under Ofcom guidelines, the Local Authorities are responsible for co-ordinating consultation responses on behalf of their local community for any proposed removal of public payphones.  
31/10/2019
Dingwall & Highland Marts - Sale 31 October 2019
DINGWALL, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd., (October, 31st) sold 3,675 store sheep.  Lambs (2,603) averaged £48.91 and sold to £85 gross for a Texel tup lamb from Wester Raddery, Fortrose. Ewes (890) sold to £79 gross for a pen of Texel crosses from Kinnahaird Farm, Contin. Feeding Sheep (182) sold to £170 gross for a Cheviot ram from Keppoch Farm, Dundonnell.  
31/10/2019
Highland Council's Citizen's Panel have their say
Feedback from Highland Council's annual citizen's panel survey has highlighted the welcoming nature of people living in our communities.   This was just one of many findings included in the latest Citizens' Panel 2019 Performance and Attitude Survey which was considered at the Council meeting on 31 October 2019.  
30/10/2019
Caithness West and Tannach and District Community Councils Fail To Get Enough Nominations
Following the recent call for candidates wishing to serve on Highland Community Councils to come forward a total of 120 Councils attracted sufficient interest to allow them to form from 12 noon on Friday 1 November.   20 Community Councils received more nominations than their maximum membership, and elections will take place for these Community Councils using a postal ballot.  
29/10/2019
Highland Council Cuts 800,000+ Miles With Enterprise Car Club Saving £400,000Thumbnail for article : Highland Council Cuts 800,000+ Miles With Enterprise Car Club Saving £400,000
Highland Council saves £400,000 And 377 Tonnes Of CO2 In First 12 Months With Enterprise.   The Highland Council has reduced its annual business mileage by more than 825,000 miles and made cost savings in excess of £400,000 in the first 12 months since introducing Enterprise Car Club, part of global vehicle rental group, Enterprise Holdings.  
28/10/2019
Highland Council kicks off council house Rent Consultation across the region
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 requires social landlords to consult tenants and take account of their views when making decisions about proposed rent increases.   The Highland Council Tenant Participation team are starting a month long trip around Highland communities talking to tenants about what their rent money is spent on and consulting on the rent they will pay in 2020 / 2021.  

[Printer Friendly Version]