Fraud Alert

The Federal Trade Commission Shares Common Scams That Target Small Business

Fake Invoices 

Scammers create phony invoices that look like they’re for products or services your business uses — maybe office or cleaning supplies or domain name registrations. Scammers hope the person who pays your bills will assume the invoices are for things the company actually ordered. Scammers know that when the invoice is for something critical, like keeping your website up and running, you may pay first and ask questions later. Except it’s all fake, and if you pay, your money may be gone.

IRS, States and Tax Industry Renew Alert about Form W-2 Scam Targeting Payroll, Human Resource Departments

IRS -2017-10

Internal Revenue Service sign with a traffic signal in the foreground indicating a red light.

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today renewed their warning about an email scam that uses a corporate officer’s name to request employee Forms W-2 from company payroll or human resources departments.

GOVERNMENT IMPOSTER SCAMS
By Carol Kando-Pineda, Attorney, Division of Consumer and Business Education / Federal Trade Commission

You get a text, call, or email from someone who says they’re with the government. They may claim to be a U.S. Marshal, saying you must pay a fine for missing jury duty. Or the IRS, saying that you owe thousands in back taxes. Some might threaten legal action, deportation, or arrest if you don’t pay up or give them your financial information.

FAKE EMAILS COULD COST YOU THOUSANDS

Think you got an email from a business you know? Scammers sometimes use emails that look legit to trick you into sending money to them. The email might say it’s from a real estate professional you’re working with, telling you there’s a last-minute change and you should now wire your closing costs to a different account. Or it could seem to be an email – with an invoice – from your utility company, telling you to wire payment. Whatever the story, if you wire that money, it goes to the scammer – and you may never see your money again. These scammers might get your information by hacking into a business. Once they know about you, they send an email that seems to come from the business, telling you where to send money.  So, how can you spot these scams?

New Scam – Done ‘Old School’

 

From OnGaurdOnline.gov

In a recent twist, scam artists are using the phone to try to break into your computer. They call, claiming to be computer techs associated with well-known companies like Microsoft. They say that they’ve detected viruses or other malware on your computer to trick you into giving them remote access or paying for software you don’t need.

These scammers take advantage of your reasonable concerns about viruses and other threats. They know that computer users have heard time and again that it’s important to install security software. But the purpose behind their elaborate scheme isn’t to protect your computer; it’s to make money.

SCAM ALERT from the FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

According to Colleen Tressler, Consumer Education Specialist with the FTC, they’re at it again...tax scammers scheming new ways to steal personal information and money.

In the first scenario, identity thieves file a fake tax return and have the refund deposited into your bank account. The thieves then contact you, often by phone, and — posing as the IRS or debt collectors for the IRS — demand you return the money to the IRS. But following the thieves’ instructions actually sends the money to them.

In another version, after you get that erroneous refund, you get an automated call, allegedly from the IRS, threatening you with criminal fraud charges, an arrest warrant, and “blacklisting” of your Social Security number. The caller gives you a case number and a telephone number to call to return the refund.

Business Travelers Beware!

Courtesy of CYBERHEISTNEWS
There is a new spin on an existing phishing scam you need to be aware of.  Bad guys are doing research on you personally using social media and find out where and when you (might) travel for business. Next, they craft an email especially for you with an airline reservation or receipt that looks just like the real thing, sent with a spoofed "From" email address that also looks legit.