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Watch Out For These Business Scams in 2017

Posted by Paul Johnson
Feb 1, 2017

Rather than offering you a deal that sounds too good to be true, these days scammers try to lure you in with offers that seem too mundane to be false.

Scams were much easier to spot when they promised you that you’d won the lottery or inherited millions. Then there are the pleas to help smuggle riches stolen from a third world dictator. All these scams are basically variations on a theme, trying to con you into handing over some money up front to set the wheels in motion and then running off with your cash rather than delivering the promised riches.

These days, scams are a lot more subtle, plus they go out of their way to target businesses. Usually they’re either trying to fool you into paying a bogus invoice, or else trick you into opening an infected attachment or clicking on a malicious link to ransomware – which encrypts all your important files and demands money for their release.

Bogus invoices come in all forms, hoping to strike it lucky and impersonate one of your real service providers. Sometimes it might be an unpaid electricity, gas or water bill, with a threat to cut you off if you don’t act immediately. Other times it might be a notification of a missed parcel delivery, hoping that you’ll open the attachment to check the details. Scammers also like to spoof speeding fines, court orders and even tax refunds.

These scams are usually trying to infect your computer with ransomware, or perhaps trick you into logging into a spoof website posing as your bank so they can steal your login and password. Other times they’re simply hoping you’ll mistake their bogus invoice for a real invoice and pay it without giving it a second thought.

Often the fake bills are for mundane things like office supplies or printing supplies, hoping that whoever opens the email pays it without asking too many questions. Sometimes they might be bogus invoices for advertising that you never placed, perhaps in publications which don’t even exist. The aim is to look so mundane that you don’t question them.

Scammers are getting a lot more savvy, so a lapse in concentration can lead to an expensive mistake. It pays to keep your wits about you when an unexpected message pops up in your inbox.

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