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Tools for small businesses

an image of Stevie the scammer Tools for small businesses

Small businesses can arm themselves against scammers by watching Stevie’s Scam School, a series of YouTube videos produced by Consumer Affairs Victoria.

The six one-minute clips show how scammers operate in:

Small businesses are a lucrative target for scammers, who are using more sophisticated techniques and technology to make people believe the offers and documents they send are genuine.

It can be very difficult to track down scammers once they have your money – so one of the best defences for small businesses is learning to spot and avoid them.

A common scam that traps businesses is the unauthorised advertising scam, also known as a false billing scam.

The scammer sends a business an invoice for an advertisement or listing in a publication that the business hasn’t ordered; busy small businesses often pay the professional-looking invoice without checking its legitimacy.

You can watch a video about False Billing Scams courtesy of the ACCC's Scamwatch

To find out how to protect yourself against this scam and others, watch the Stevie’s Scam School videos at www.consumer.vic.gov.au/scamschool and share it with other businesses.

You can also read more about small business scams on the ACCC's SCAMwatch website and at business.gov.au

Enquiries and complaints to WA ScamNet about small business scams

Consumer Protection received an estimated 227 enquiries between March 2014 and February 2015 about unsolicited invoices and frauds affecting small businesses. Issues with 'unsolicited requests for payment', 'invoices for non-existent services (false billing)' or 'unsolicited invoicing - Australia and overseas' were also reported.

That's an increase on the previous 12 months where there were 210 enquiries from March 2013 to February 2014.

There were 33 additional enquiries registered over the last few months which reported the use of ransomware. Ransomware is malicious software that is installed on a personal or business computer. 

Preventing financial loss to business scams

Presentation by Consumer Protection about tips for spotting and avoiding scams targeting small business.

If you would like to be alerted of the latest scams in WA, please add your name and email address in the boxes below and click the blue button to subscribe: