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BBB IDs scams targeting small business owners


Small Business Week kicked off Sunday and Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific knows how hard these business owners work to keep their companies running smoothly. However, scammers prey on small-business owners, knowing there is much to take care of on a daily basis; they’re waiting on something to fall through the cracks.

To better protect small businesses, BBB NW+P has identified the riskiest scams that target small-business owners. Here’s what to watch for:

Credit Card Company Imposter Scam Fraudulent Advertising Offer Fake Invoice or Vendor Bill Fake Check Scam Tech Support Imposter Scam

It’s also imperative to become familiar with common tactics con-artists use. Among the most popular, 53% of business owners reported the scammer pretended to be someone they trusted, while 49% said the scammer created a sense of urgency.

In Portland, small-businesses make up a huge part of the local economy. There are 3,378 small businesses here.

The best defense to protect against scams is an informed workforce. Train employees not to click unfamiliar links or open suspicious emails. Create a culture of communication so that employees know they can ask if they’re unsure, rather then giving the green light to a charge or signing a check they should not have.

BBB NW+P offers these tips to small business owners:

Verify Invoices: Do not pay for a bill if you can’t locate where it came from or if the order was legitimate. Scammers rely on the fact you’re too busy to check. Be Tech-Savvy: Know that caller ID, emails and websites can all be spoofed to look real when they’re not. Be careful when sending or sharing company information Stay Secure: Having someone on your team, or a third-party vendor, that handles your cybersecurity is a must. For detailed information on cybersecurity, especially if cyber-insurance is right for you, head to the FTC website.

For more information on how each of the five small-business scams work or for inquiries to talk to a BBB-accredited, small-business owner in Portland, contact Marketplace Manager, Danielle Kane. For the full report, “Scams and Your Small Business,” click here.

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands snd charities they can trust. In 2017, people turned to BBB more than 160 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Northwest & Pacific, which serves more than 15 million consumers in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Hawaii and Western Wyoming.

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