B2B scams target businesses in an effort to draw money into fraudsters’ pockets. Fraudsters rely on the fact that companies and nonprofit organizations are busy, have multiple staff members and often order many products and services. Common B2B scams include sending invoices for products a company did not order or delivering products a business did not order, along with an invoice.
In other situations, a scammer will send a low-quality product or insist they have provided a service and charge exorbitant amounts. One common scam involves business directories. A company may be charged for a business directory listing, even if it never requested such a listing. The listing may not exist or may exist in a directory that is not widely distributed or accessible, and therefore offers the company no benefit.
B2B scams are a serious problem. They can mean thousands of dollars out of your revenues. Some scammers threaten businesses with collection agencies or even court action if a company won’t pay into the scam. Fraudsters can damage your credit rating and consume hours of your time.
The Warning Signs You Need to Look Out For
To protect your small business from scams, you need to be aware of the following warning signs of B2B scams:
- You Are Charged for Services or Products You Did Not Receive: A common scam involves charging you for services and products that simply do not exist. Always have a centralized system for confirming orders, checking invoices and ensuring you are only paying for what you have ordered and received. Only do business with vendors you know and trust, and avoid having multiple team members handle invoices and ordering. Keeping things centralized can make it easier to spot scams.
- You Get Calls From Companies You Do Not Recognize, Asking for Confirmation: cammers will sometimes call to confirm an order, hoping to get an administrator or someone who will say yes to a nonexisting order. In other cases, fraudsters will call and ask the person answering the phone to confirm the address of the business before starting a sales pitch. In both cases, scammers can use the recorded phone call or a modified copy of the call to claim you placed and confirmed an order.
Train all your employees to not confirm any orders or addresses. Any requests for confirmation should be sent to one person, who should firmly refuse to confirm any order you did not place and should keep a recording of the call to counteract any claims.
- You Receive Products You Did Not Order: These are usually accompanied by a bill or invoice. Do not pay for these products or return them. According to the Federal Trade Commission, any products you receive unsolicited are considered a gift under law. Keep meticulous records of what you did order so you can deny any accusations of nonpayment.
Proper bookkeeping can help you avoid falling prey to B2B scams. If there are any discrepancies among your invoices, the products you receive and your authorized vendors, bookkeeping services can spot them. If you’d like to secure quality outsourced bookkeeping service for your company to bring you peace of mind, contact SLC Bookkeeping today.