(NC) Companies big and small are vulnerable to all kinds of fraud — identity theft, internal fraud and business directory and supply scams. This is not just an online problem, it can also happen over the phone and in person.
Fraud can affect your revenue, your reputation, and the longevity of your business. That’s why it’s important to take proactive steps to ensure that you can prevent losses to your bottom-line and lessen the impact of possible fraud.
The Competition Bureau encourages businesses to have an anti-fraud plan that includes the following:
Fraudsters are sophisticated and creative, so questioning the legitimacy of every inquiry — no matter how official it may appear to be — is a good policy to have in place. Always be vigilant and on the lookout. Scammers are finding new and innovative ways every day to rip people off, so be watchful for any deals that sound too good to be true, including online and on social media.
It’s important to train staff to be attentive, cautious and know how to reject suspected fraudulent activity. If you receive a suspicious email, delete it. If you question the legitimacy of a phone call from an unfamiliar source, hang up. If you get something in the mail asking you for personal information or credit card details, throw it out. Trust your instincts — they could save your business or your employer from becoming the victim of fraud.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) estimates that less than five per cent of the total number of fraud victims report their experiences to law enforcement agencies. By reporting a scam, you can provide law enforcement with the information they need to stop fraudsters and prevent others from becoming victims. If you file a complaint, it’s important to keep any evidence, such as cancelled cheques, certified and other mail receipts, and printed or electronic copies of emails.
You can report fraud by contacting the CAFC at www.antifraudcentre.ca or by phone at 1-888-495-8501; or the Competition Bureau at www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/fraud or by phone at 1-800-348-5358.