How to keep your company and consumers safe from scammers

Are you sure you're paying the appropriate account when you pay a supplier or service provider? Scammers are infiltrating inboxes and seeking funds to a new account these days, so you need to be extra cautious. Here's how to keep your company and its consumers safe.

It’s Scams Awareness Week 2021, and scams have cost Australian businesses $128 million in damages over the last year.

And, as scary as that is, one-third of those who are conned never report it, so the real figures are likely far higher.

So, what kind of ruse is catching businesses off guard this year?

Scammers compromise a business’s email correspondence by mimicking either your or your customer’s email account or website, which is perhaps the most damaging scam this year.

The fraudsters then send you or your clients an email demanding that all future invoice payments be made to a new account.

The naïve business or consumer subsequently pays the sum – in this case, $10,000 – without realizing they’ve paid the con artists. This not only costs the victim money but also disrupts the victim’s financial flow and operations.

How to pay and receive money in a secure manner

While spoofing is on the rise, there are a few easy actions you can take to ensure that your company and its customers are paying money to the proper account.

“Talk to your employees about this scam so they understand how it works and what to look for if they are targeted,” advises small company ombudsman Bruce Billson.

To combat scammers, small businesses are encouraged to register for PayID, use BPAY, or use e-invoicing when paying or receiving invoice payments.

Because these payment providers will show you who you’re paying before you pay, you can be sure your money is going to the right place.

“PayID, for example, is a unique feature that will assist consumers and companies avoid frauds,” says Anna Bligh, CEO of the Australian Banking Association.

“Unlike paying to a BSB and account number, PayID allows the user to verify the account holder’s name before transferring payments.”

The good news is that PayID is simple to get and use.

Over 8 million PayIDs have been registered in Australia thus far, with many of them being for enterprises.

“As banking becomes increasingly digital, customers are less likely to sign a check or pay in cash. As a result, we all need to be warier of fraudsters and use services that guarantee our money goes to the proper company or person,” Ms. Bligh said.

There are a few more things you may take to defend your company against fraudsters.

Use services like two-step authentication where feasible to safeguard your business from scammers, and double-check the legitimacy of webpage links before clicking.

Alexi Boyd, Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia, states, “These are basic and simple methods to defend yourself from these extremely costly and repulsive frauds.”

Finally, if you ever have any worries about whether you’re sending a payment to the correct account, or if you receive a request to update payment account information, please call your contact at that organization.

To learn more, contact Premium Finance Group Australia at (07) 4720 8888 or email us at finance@pfga.com.au

 

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced, or republished without prior written consent.

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