If you own a small business right now you have a bull’s-eye target on your back for con artists. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on, according to what I read in The Sun Sentinel:
- Restaurateurs are getting conned by supposed ‘customers’ with phony dry cleaning bills who claim their clothing was damaged at the restaurant. Very often, a ‘customer’ will call about this issue and then show up demanding payment, claiming to have spoken to the owner who supposedly authorized that the dry cleaning bill be covered.
- Beware of phony bills for supposed advertising service, Internet services or phone services. The cons will usually try to skate on the right side of law by saying in mice type, “This is not a bill. This is a solicitation.” I received four of these phony solicitations posing as invoices in the last two weeks for my corporation. Make sure your accounts payable people know about this rip-off and are instructed not to pay it.
- When you get solicited to advertise in any kind of telephone book, really think it through: Are you getting any leads from that at all? I can’t remember the last time I looked in a phone book.
- Have a plan to deal with charity solicitations. Tell solicitors you do charity reviews every July when business slows down. Ask them to send you info about their charity and say that you’ll file it until then. If they’re cons, that’s the last you’ll hear from them.