Posted September 16, 2019
We spoke last week about how sophisticated some of the scams targeting small business are getting and the different kind of scams you might encounter. But how do you protect yourself and your business from these scams?
1. Be aware
Make sure you stay up to date on the latest scams that are floating around. Talk to your friends who are salon owners, check out the ACCC and other government sites like scamwatchgov.au and of course keep reading HABA’s blog – we will always tell you if there is something new happening that could affect salon owners. We wrote about a new scam on our blog in 2017 that helped many of our members.
2. Be Informed
There are plenty of ways to spot a fake account or dodgy email. It’s just a matter of knowing the things to look for –
- Look for a phone number that comes from an unusual country like Croatia – the ATO probably isn’t going to be calling you from there.
- Watch out for blocked numbers – these often hide scammers or telemarketers, neither of which we want to deal with
- Check the email address. If it’s got lots of letters and numbers in it or doesn’t come from an email address that matches the business or organisation name, they probably aren’t a representative of that business
- Poor quality spelling, grammar and sentence structure can all be signs of someone from overseas trying to access your information.
- Watch out for anyone asking you to open the attachment, especially if they have a funny email address – email attachments can often be a delivery mechanism for computer viruses
- And most importantly – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t fall for silly scams like Nigerian princes, large deposits of money or free salon supplies. They’re unlikely to be as free as you thought.
3. Be Suspicious
Have a healthy level of suspicion towards anyone you don’t know who is contacting you online. If you’ve never met them in person and are suspicious of the how legitimate their business is, check it out. Search the internet for other people who may have had dealings with this company – there are plenty of websites that call out scams, no matter what kind they are.
Beware of any requests for your details or money, and never share that information online. Be suspicious about any unusual payments or transactions from your bank account and be careful when shopping online. By being a bit suspicious you can save yourself from plenty of heartaches.
4. Be smart
- It’s all about limiting your risk and exposure to these scams, and that ultimately means being smarter than the scammers. Here are our top tips to avoid heartache.
- Don’t open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or click on links or attachments in emails from people you don’t recognise
- Don’t respond to phone calls asking for remote access
- Keep your personal details secure. Don’t share sensitive or identifying information with people you don’t know
- Triple check the credentials of anyone who calls you – even if they say they are from the ATO or Telstra. They will be able to give you information like your policy number or TFN that will help you to identify them as legitimate
- Choose your passwords carefully and regularly update them to help keep your profile secure.
If you think you have been scammed or are suspicious about any activity, report it to the ACCC, the police or to HABA. Follow our advice above to make sure you don’t get into that situation in the first place, and you are on the right path to protecting yourself and your business.
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