Everyone we work with, at any level is immediately brought under our Mama-Bear mentality. We take our clients (and our own!) personal details as well as their overall good health and fortune personally. With the latest scams and data issues, you can best be certain that we are growling.
According to Accountants Daily newsletter May 2018, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's reported "there was a 23 per cent spike in business losses due to scams in 2017, with victim businesses losing an average of $11,000 to scammers."
In many situations, it was false bills! What! People paid for bills they didn't need to! Or the business said they were doing something but weren't?! Busy days and not knowing where your money is going can lead to this easily, we understand. That's why we try to educate our clients how to look into their records, and monitor activity, even if they aren't the one reconciling and handling every transaction. By having a toe in the water of your business finances (no degree needed) you are far more likely to catch an issue before it happens or at least within a time frame where action can take place. You and your staff should not be afraid to raise a question if something looks wrong - sometimes its a fair accident: double payment, continually being charged for something you cancelled - but often enough too many incedents are falling through the cracks.
The ACCC said:
“We’ve seen a worrying and dramatic jump in losses reported to us about these two scams. False billing scams are where a scammer tries to trick a business into paying fake invoices for directory listings, advertising, domain name renewals or office supplies. The scammers are very aggressive and persistent in demanding payment.
“With employment and investment scams, scammers offer services commonly used by businesses such as web page development, search engine optimisation, small business loans and business directory listings. The business signs up to what seems like a good deal but quickly discover they receive no service and that the offer was not legitimate.”
Whats there to do? Investigate before your jump on board is our number one suggestion. Look for reviews, and then - look again. Check their ABN details on the governments free and easy to use ABN Lookup page. For an invoice or transaction to be legally binding between you and any business, you have to legally be provided with their ABN, so don't be afraid to ask. We've done it - sometimes businesses are trading as obscure names unrelated to their ABN, but we know how to track this down to make sure they are an approved entity. But, its happened that sub contractors and seemingly respectable Pty Ltd company's were practising under false details.
Unfortunately, this is the current world we live in. So, don't assume every interaction is honey just because it seems sweet. And if you don't want to come off as the big bad bear - call us and we'll happily dip our claw in to test the waters (nicely of course)!