If your site is compromised, you risk losing everything – your clients, your revenue, your reputation. Whether it’s intentional or unintentional, when your clients are ripped off, it’s not likely they’ll ever trust you with their personal information again. That’s why it’s imperative to be on the lookout for internet scams.
Typically, internet scams come in one of the following ways:
- A website posing as you sells your goods or services at an inflated price.
- Fake products or services emulating what you offer are sold at a discounted price.
- Someone pretends to be you and collect relevant information from your clients.
- Emails are sent out in your name asking for payment details or information.
- Your website is hacked with malicious code that then forwards your clients’ information to a third-party site that belongs to hackers.
While some frauds are easily detected, others might go undiscovered for a long time. If a person makes an online purchase and sees suspicious fees added to their bill, the signs will be obvious. On the other hand, if all that was collected from the customer was personal information that can aid in identity theft, then the hackers can go on milking the oblivious clients for a very long time, especially if they make minute withdrawals or purchases that most wouldn’t notice.
Keeping an Eye Out for Internet Scams
As a business owner, you will need to keep an eye out for any scams that can negatively affect your relationship with your clients. It’s your job to keep them safe when it comes to your products and while they’re on your site.
How do you know which scams to look out for? Start with these popular schemes and if you see anything that makes you suspicious, immediately correct the situation!
Fake Grants and Offers – Businesses can be sent emails or letters that tell them they have had refunds, grants, offers, or tax breaks from the government. But, in order to gain access, you need to pay a nominal fee to facilitate processing. Needless to say, once you do pay, you never hear from them again.
New Software Download – You will be sent an email or see an ad pop up telling you there is a new update that you need to apply, or that your computer is infected and that it needs to be cleaned using a particular product. While most anti-viruses or anti-malware detect and block such types of attacks, they could get through if you’ve forgotten to update your software in a while. Once you click on the link or ad, a script runs, a piece of code is installed on your computer and the theft begins.
Bogus Bills – If you handle lots of bills every month, it won’t be too difficult to slip a fake one by you. Typically, the bill will look legitimate and even look like a replica of your regular ones. But, when using payment gateways like PayPal to settle the bill, you might actually be redirected to pay others instead of your intended service provider.
Fake Reviews – People search for your products and business before they deal with you. If your name is tarnished with fake reviews, that’ll stop people from shopping. It may get so bad, you might even have to drop your brand name and adopt a new one.
Duplicate Website and Fake Products – You need to keep monitoring the internet for any occurrences of a duplicate website or bogus goods or services offered from a site that looks just like yours. Make regular searches for keywords like “bad” or “fake” along with your brand name to spot complaints made by people who have been scammed.
You can inform web hosting providers that there is a fake website on their server or that they’re offering fake goods or services with the intent of scamming people. While most hosting providers will be glad to take action, a promise of taking your provider to court for inaction could be just the motivation they need.
Always Be Aware
Always keep an eye out for scams and listen to your clients’ complaints to spot any anomalies in your business’ transactions. You should never let your guard down as hackers and malicious software never take a break. It only takes one scam to bring you to your knees.