We don’t often think of businesses as victims. In fact, we make it seem like businesses are large, overwhelming champions of society. While businesses certainly don’t have emotions, or feelings – they can still be victims. Crimes can occur that focus on a business or its premises.
The type of crimes that make a victim of businesses worldwide are varied. Usually, we think of physical threats, blackmail or even violent break-ins. These are heavily stylized by the media, and are rare. In fact, these aren’t even the scariest threats out there – one of the larger threats to face a business actually seems boring at face value. It is, of course, fraud. Fraud – like people – comes in all different types, shapes, and sizes. Fraud is true threat, because it can be very easy to defraud a business – for example, someone might turn up one day claiming to be tax inspector and ask for payment; and a lot of businesses won’t question this since they are afraid.
There’s no true way to avoid fraud – but it can be prevented. As long as you own a business, you always run the risk of being defrauded, simply because businesses are such easy targets. However, if you can take some steps to prevent being scammed, or defrauded – you can prevent some major damage from occurring to your business.
In the first instance, employ some common sense. If you’re called on by someone claiming to work for the tax service or the IRS – you still have rights to question this. You’ll face no punishment for asking to see a Government employee’s credentials – and you’ll also be able to verify this by ringing your local Government office and checking with them. Even if you’re pretty sure that a Government official is on site – you should always check, they certainly won’t be ashamed to flash their ID and give away their office number!
A lot of fraud can occur online – through hacking and malicious viruses. This means that it certainly pays to know your way around websites and web safety. If something seems off, it likely is – so don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion on any dodgy web activity. There are plenty of sneaky ways a business can be defrauded online, but in most circumstances, it will simply be because the business walked into a trap laid out for it. Be vigilant and cautious about your businesses online activity. Change passwords, use tools like Jumio Netverify and two-factor authentication, educate yourself on viruses and please use anti-virus and anti-malware software. Being caught out here can be absolutely catastrophic and painful to a business.
Could your business be a victim of fraud? More than likely! Even if you are not aware of it, people will target your business to try and extract cash and data. Don’t let you or your business be a victim – stay vigilant and stay cautious at all times to guard against the threat of fraud. It will always be better to be safe than sorry.