Aside from internal issues like expense fraud, you also have to be vigilant about credit card scams that target businesses. According to the FTC, there were over 2.8 million reports of credit card fraud filed by consumers in reports in 2021 alone. Whether you’re a manager or business owner, protecting your funds and your identity should be one of your top priorities. Although it may seem like you’re invulnerable to online scams, some of the smartest people in the world have been fooled by fraudsters online.
CreditRepair.com recently conducted a survey of over 1,000 people, and they found that 73 percent of people are worried about credit card scams. With so many transactions taking place online, this makes sense.
Today, you’ll learn about five different ways you can protect your business to ensure your information doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
What Are the Most Common Online Scams?
Before diving into the tips, it’s helpful to know about the various ways that online scammers try to get a hold of your information. For your business, you may be dealing with vendors, freelancers, marketing agencies and others who need your credit card information, but sometimes, you’re being targeted by thieves.
Although it seems like email scams were a thing of the past, they’re still quite common. Scammers will send an email pretending to be a company you work with or use like a bank. They’re good, too. They’ll use the logos and make it look identical to an actual email, but the links often direct you to a website that will steal your credit card information.
Aside from emails, many scammers have turned to social media. They’ll send private messages about products or services, or they may pretend to be someone on your friend’s list.
Tips to Protect Your Business
The following tips can help you avoid online scams, know the red flags to look for and be proactive about your digital safety.
1. Be Skeptical of Emails and Messages
It should be a given that you should have a healthy amount of skepticism when it comes to emails and messages from people you don’t know. But remember, many scammers pretend to be from a company you use or someone you know. When it comes to email, the easiest way to know if the email is legitimate is to check the email address. If it’s not an email address with a .com of the company’s website, it may be a scam.
On social media, scammers will often create a profile that looks nearly identical to someone you know. They’ll use the same profile photo and change the user name slightly, which most people don’t notice. While this can be difficult to catch, a good rule of thumb is when someone’s requesting money.
2. Go Through Reputable Websites
When you’re running a business, you may need to use freelancers or make payments to people who provide you with services. To avoid potential scams, be sure to use reputable websites and payment methods. For example, finding a freelancer on Craigslist.com isn’t going to be as safe as using a website like Upwork or Fiverr. These companies often have protections, and you can check the ratings of the person you’re going to hire.
If you are going to through someone outside of one of these platforms, use PayPal or a similar method for payment. PayPal and others have protections so you don’t have to give out your credit card information.
3. Always Use Multi-factor Authentication
We’re always looking for convenience and efficiency, which can make us vulnerable to scams. Whenever you save your company credit card to a website, it’s possible a hacker could get your login information and start making purchases. To avoid this, set up multifactor authentication for any website that stores your credit card information. When you do this, the website will send a text or email if someone tries to log in. If it’s not you, they can’t login and use your credit card.
4. Educate Your Employees
If you have employees or work with others that have access to a company credit card, it’s important to catch everyone up to speed about the prevalence of credit card scams. This can be through an email or a quick training. Teach them how to spot credit card scams so they don’t accidentally give the credit card information to the wrong person.
5. Setup Credit Alerts
Most financial institutions allow you to setup credit card fraud alerts. This means that whenever a purchase is made, you’ll get a text or email to confirm it was you. Although the transaction may go through, if you catch it soon, it’s a lot easier for your credit card holder as well as the merchant to stop the process and issue you a refund.
These are only a few ways to prevent online credit card scams. In the CreditRepair.com survey, they provide additional information, tips and tools to help people avoid these types of scams.