Business crime can originate from outside of your organization, and from inside. External fraudsters are always trying to get as much confidential information about your business they can for many different, nefarious reasons. Internal committers of business crime may steal equipment, products, and even money. They may also try to execute insurance fraud, carrying out scams such as claiming deceitful injuries and illnesses due to your business operations.
There is not much you can do to protect yourself against internal scams except for being very diligent about hiring and attentively checking work history and references. Foster an environment of openness, and encourage employees to come forward if they suspect anything dishonest may be happening.
For external scams, defend yourself and your business by keeping you and your employees cognizant of these common scams, as provided by the Competition Bureau.
Office Supply Scams: Be aware of unsolicited phone calls regarding office supplies such as paper, toner for printers, debit and credit machine paper rolls, and other common office materials.
What will happen is you will receive phone calls from someone claiming to be an employee of a company you have allegedly placed an order of some sort with. They will ask a lot of questions with the intent of gathering information such as the colleagues in charge of ordering, the company’s address, and the type of office equipment used. They will then follow up with another phone call when they use the information they have gleaned to imply an existing business relationship.
This is the scam. The colleague may be misled into accepting a delivery for a product they never ordered, costs far too much, and is of poor quality. When they try to return it, they’ll usually find the address does not accept deliveries. Refusal to pay will result in aggressive calls from collection agencies and threats to damage your business’s reputation, potentially through negative online reviews.
Directory Scams: This type of scam originates when a company is contacted to ask if they want to advertise in or purchase a directory specifically designed for its sector. After the “deal is done,” you’ll find out that the directory did not exist in the first place or is not at all what you were expecting. The directory seems to be helpful, and a good way to promote your business, so companies fall prey to this false idea of easy marketing.
Fake Invoice Scam: One of the more brazen ways to commit a business crime is to simply send a phony invoice for a service or product that was never provided. These fake invoices are usually convincing, appearing quite credible with a professional-looking letterhead and layout. Often they are for small amounts, but are billed regularly, which can add up over time.
Ensure your finance employees are kept well aware of what is actually being ordered so they are easily able to cross-reference invoices with products actually received and services legitimately rendered.
The vast majority of cyber criminals are after personal information — yours, your employees’, or your clients or customers. Armed with your details, cyber criminals can steal funds and assets from your company, or steal your identity so they can pose as you while committing fraud or theft.
Cyber insurance can save your business. In Alberta, cyber insurance policies can be configured to cover you for losses and liabilities resulting from:
- Privacy breaches (first-party and third-party)
- Computer hacking
- Identity theft
- Phishing scams
- Internet extortion
- Breaches of cyber security
- Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks
Cyber insurance coverage can also be configured to protect you from infringement claims related to intellectual property, as well as provide financial safeguards for sensitive data and information stored in computing clouds. You can also opt in for protections that cover the cost of investigations, errors and omissions, breaches of regulatory and compliance policies, court costs, and the costs associated with crisis communications.
Report Fraudsters to the Competition Bureau
If you suspect a business crime has taken place, report the incident to the Competition Bureau of Canada. They keep a comprehensive database of known fraudsters and scam artists and are able to connect you to the appropriate law enforcement agency. They also provide a number of fraud-prevention resources, including the Little Black Book of Scams
Business Insurance Solutions From Lane’s
Business insurance can be configured in a number of different ways, and the expert insurance brokers at Lane’s are skilled at finding the exact right policy to fit your needs. We are happy to answer all of your business insurance questions. Contact us at our Calgary, Edmonton, Banff, and Alberta offices today.