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Scams That Target Your Business

The phone is ringing, a customer’s at the door and a project is due within the next hour...No wonder scammers try to catch you off guard and take advantage of your business.  Here are some scams that business’ need to watch out for:

Utility Shut Off Scam — A scammer will pretend to be from the utility company and tell the manager that the business has missed a utility payment and service will be terminated immediately, unless a payment is made.  The scammer will request the payment in a specific form, such as, a prepaid  cash card.  The main targets of this scam are restaurants or retail stores.  The scammers know to call right before peek business times, such as late on a Friday afternoon, right before the weekend rush.

irectory Listing Scam — Scammers call and ask the employee who answers the phone to “verify” or “confirm” the company’s contact information for a business directory listing.  Once the scammer has the person on the phone talking, they will  trick the employee into saying ”yes”.  The scammer then has a recorded “yes” that they can doctor up and play back as proof that  the company agreed to the services that the company will be billed for.

upply Scam — Phony office supply companies call to confirm order or just send a  supply order to a company, in hopes that an unsuspecting employee will confirm or accept the order.  Then the phony office supply company sends the bill.

           The Phony Check Scam — Mixed in with all the bills and invoices in the mail, you get a refund in the form of a check, which you were not expecting.  Read all the fine print, on the front and the back of the “check.”  Cashing it may inadvertently sign your business up for a monthly service that you don’t want or need.

The Department of Consumer Affairs’ mission is to make sure people who live or shop in Cuyahoga County get what they pay for.