business

BBB will be offering resources to the business community throughout the week

May 5 through 11 is National Small Business Week, an event that recognizes the important contributions made by American entrepreneurs and their small businesses. During this week, Better Business Bureau will be offering resources for small businesses through presentations focused on avoiding scams that could be targeting their business, along with information on how to help create more trust with their customers. BBB will be conducting several presentations on these topics locally this week, including:

• Monday, May 6 @ 11:30am: Aledo Rotary in Aledo

• Monday, May 6 @ 6:00pm: Stephenville City Council in Stephenville

• Tuesday, May 7 @ 8:30am: Azle Business Connection in Azle

• Tuesday, May 7 @ 12:00pm: Stephenville Kiwanis Club in Stephenville

• Tuesday, May 7 @ 7:30pm: Grapevine City Council in Grapevine

• Wednesday, May 8 @ 12:00pm: North Texas Entrepreneur Education and Training Center in Hurst

• Thursday, May 9 @ 8:00am: Senior Synergy Expo in Fort Worth

• Thursday, May 9 @ 3:30pm: Small Business Resource Showcase in Fort Worth

One of the topics that will be covered by these presentations is The Top Ten Scams Affecting Small Businesses.

As a preview, here are the top five scams along with tips for recognizing and avoiding them:

• Tech support scams. Tech support scams often start out with a call from the scammer or a pop-up message on your computer saying a problem has been found. The goal is either to take your money or gain access to your computer.

• Be careful when you receive calls or warnings about your devices. Scammers often pose as reps from well-known companies.

• The best way to protect yourself and your business from these scams is to keep your technology up-to-date, and to make sure your employees know how to work all devices used in your business.

• Fake check scams. This is a simple scam; someone sends you a check and asks you to wire back the difference. By the time you or the bank discovers the check is fake, the scammer is long gone with your money.

• Always be cautious if someone sends you a check for more than the agreed upon amount; scammers will have a good reason for the overage.

o According to the BBB Scams and Small Business Research Report, the median loss for fake check scams is $675.

• Fake invoice scams. Scams like these occur when businesses receive fake invoices or supplier bills for items (usually office supplies) they never ordered. Other times, scammers may show up with unordered supplies and demand payment.

• The median loss for fake invoice scams is $500. This can be an effective ploy for getting money, especially when business owners aren’t paying close attention to their regular bills.

• Always verify bills and payments are being sent to and from the correct vendors.

• 76 Texans reported fake invoice scams to BBB Scam Tracker in 2018.

• Directory listing and ad scams. Solicitors may attempt to sell your business ads and directory listings you don’t need. This scam can be tricky to spot, because they may be selling an actual ad, but it may not be worth the money due to low circulation.

• One victim that spoke to BBB’s Scams and Small Business Research Report said they bought advertisements with what they believed to be a local phone book, which disappeared after taking money and telling them delivery would take six to eight weeks.

• Always research other businesses you consider working with. If you determine they are legitimate, ask where and how often your ad will circulate so you can decide if the money is worth it.

• Bank/credit card imposter scams. With a median loss of $1,400, bank and credit card imposter scams are the riskiest scams for small businesses. Scammers call you, posing as employees from your bank or credit card company, and claim there is an issue with your account. They then ask for your account information for verification purposes.

• It is important to remember to never give your personal information to someone unless you are sure of their identity.

• If you receive a call like this, remain calm and hang up. Call your bank or credit company back yourself with the number you have on file to ask about the status of your account.

For more information on local presentations we’re conducting during National Small Business Week or if you would like to schedule a presentation, please reach out to us at arasor@fortworth.bbb.org. We hope you can make it out to one of our events this week!

For more information, visit us at bbb.org.

ABOUT BBB®: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2018, people turned to BBB more than 173 million times for BBB Business Profiles on nearly 5.4 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org.

The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB serving the Heart of Texas, which serves 105 counties and has offices in Austin, Bryan, Corpus Christi, Fort Worth, Midland, San Antonio and Waco.

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