You’re an entrepreneur. The buck stops with you. In the world of hustle and bustle, every opportunity could be the next big thing. But sadly, the same spirit that makes you a target for success also makes you a target for scams. And in today’s digitised world, phone scams have become the weapon of choice for fraudsters targeting business owners.
Who’s Calling? Unmasking the Scammers
Imagine this: you’re in the middle of a hectic day and your phone rings, showing a genuine number like 08007613362. It’s a number you recognise – in this case, it’s a verified Sky number but perhaps it could be your bank or a supplier you regularly deal with. But behind that familiar series of digits lurks a scammer, using a technique known as number spoofing. This involves the fraudster mimicking a genuine phone number to convince you they’re someone they’re not.
The scammers have a sophisticated set-up, manipulating caller ID systems to appear as a trusted entity, often researching and impersonating those with whom the entrepreneur has regular interaction. When you’re always on the go, it’s easy to see how one could fall for such a ruse.
But Why Entrepreneurs?
You may wonder why entrepreneurs become the bull’s eye for these con artists. Well, it’s because scammers know that entrepreneurs are often busy, juggling multiple tasks and making quick decisions. This lack of time for due diligence becomes a fertile playground for fraudsters. Entrepreneurs also tend to have more transactions, larger financial resources, and perhaps, a more aggressive risk-taking approach than the average person, making them an attractive prospect for a scam.
Phone Scam Defence: Staying One Step Ahead
Forewarned is forearmed, as they say. And the best way to prevent falling for a phone scam is by staying vigilant and aware.
Protect your Personal and Business Information
Be wary of unsolicited calls asking for personal or business information. Banks and reputable companies will never ask for sensitive information over the phone. Don’t get duped into revealing your details, no matter how genuine the caller seems.
Verifying the Caller
If you receive a call from a genuine number like your bank or a regular supplier, and they ask for any sensitive information, hang up the call and ring back on a trusted number from the company’s official website or your personal records. This ensures you’re talking to the real deal and not a scammer.
Stay Updated and Educated
Awareness of common scams is also crucial. Scams often follow trends, and staying in touch with your local business community or following trusted scam alert services can help you stay ahead of the game.
Secure Your Tech
Invest in good quality, updated antivirus and firewall protection for all your devices. These act as a first line of defence against scams, including those not limited to phone calls.
Help! I Think I’ve Been Scammed
If you suspect you’ve been targeted or fallen victim to a scam, don’t panic. Report it to your bank and local law enforcement immediately. Also, inform your staff and business community to prevent scammers from targeting others.
Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our economy, and it’s essential to protect yourself from these scammers lurking in the shadows. Remember, prevention is always better than cure. So stay vigilant, stay informed, and don’t let your entrepreneurial spirit be exploited by these phone con artists.