BOISE, Ida. — This week is National Small Business Week and the Better Business Bureau is warning of potential scams that could target small business owners.
Small businesses contribute to local economies and communities in major ways. In Boise alone, there are 932 small businesses and thousands more throughout the Treasure Valley. These businesses provide opportunities for entrepreneurs, jobs for neighbors, and gathering places in the community. Although running a small business involves taking greater risks than working for a large, established company, the rewards can be great.
Unfortunately, there are scammers that target small businesses specifically. Two of the most common scams aimed at small businesses are phishing emails and tech support scams. Scammers pose as top agencies, like the Health Department, IRS, or even BBB, indicating that the business is in trouble. They claim action needs to be taken immediately because the business may owe taxes, face an investigation or need to update their business information. Scammers can trick employees into providing passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information.
Business owners should also be weary of scammers calling and claiming their computer system has been compromised. Scammers will often offer to help repair the problem by getting remote access to the computer, but instead of fixing the problem, they'll install ransomware instead.
There are easy steps to avoid being conned. Owners can train their staff to make sure that the people processing invoices or answering phone calls are aware of these scams. Processes should also be put in place so no one person controls all the finance decision-making. Put steps in place so purchases have to be approved. Finally, use the BBB Scam Tracker. If you think someone is trying to scam you, do a little research or reach out to the BBB.
For more tips on keeping your business safe, click here.