Scammers don’t only target consumers – they target small businesses too.
Scams can reach any business, regardless of its size, age, location or industry sector, and cause that business to lose money.
The ACCC’s Targeting scams report 2013 reveals that over 90,000 Australians reported scams to the ACCC last year, with almost $90 million reported lost.
The most common scam affecting small businesses is the false billing scam, which includes advertising, directory and domain name scams. In 2013, over 3,600 reports were received about this scam – an increase of 45 per cent from 2012 – and almost $725,000 was lost.
This type of scam targets small businesses by tricking them into paying for unwanted or unauthorised listings or advertisements in magazines, journals, business registers or directories.
Common scam tactics are to send a business a subscription form disguised as an outstanding invoice to get the business to sign up for unwanted ongoing advertising services. Scammers also falsely claim that the directory or publication is well known or has a high readership.