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4 Scams Your Business Needs to be Aware of in 2021

  • Written by Todd McCullough


No matter what’s going on in the world, you can be sure that there are scammers out there looking for a way to exploit it. The coronavirus pandemic is a case in point. Millions of UK businesses have been struggling to survive, but that hasn’t stopped nefarious individuals from trying to profit at their expense.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at four of the scams businesses must be aware of in 2021, from coronavirus scams to advance-fee fraud.

  1. Advance-fee fraud

Advance-fee scams come in a range of different guises, but all have the same premise at their heart. They ask that a business pays an upfront fee to a scammer to receive products or services, which ultimately, are never given. Often the scammer will pose as a business representative or even a government official, which can make this type of scam particularly convincing. However, according to information from the loan provider Wonga, there are several telltale ways to spot them:

  • You’re offered a business loan with low interest rates or no credit checks

  • You’re referred to as Sir or Madam rather than your real name

  • You’re contacted by a well-known business but the email address, social media profile or website URL differs from the company they claim to represent

  • The email contains spelling mistakes, grammatical errors or is not formatted in a consistent way

  1. Social hacking

Not all scams rely on the manipulation of code. Social hacking attempts to preempt and manipulate the outcomes of social behaviour to gain access to restricted information. These scams can be very sophisticated and difficult to prevent and detect, making them particularly dangerous to UK business. Fortunately, they are quite rare, but it’s still worth making your employees aware of the different types of social hacking to look out for.

  1. Coronavirus support scams

We’re all hoping to wave goodbye to the coronavirus as early in 2021 as possible, but there will still be plenty of scams doing the rounds in the early part of the year. One example of a common coronavirus scam is fake online resources such as coronavirus maps that deliver malware that can infiltrate sensitive data. Businesses should also be aware of fake links to Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Meet, as well as fake emails sent to furloughed staff that ask for personal details before their return to work.

  1. Supply scams

With many businesses scrambling for supplies and also the continued requirement for coronavirus tests and personal protective equipment, it’s wise to steer clear of unsolicited emails from companies offering these kinds of products. You should check the email address the message has been sent from and the URL of the website. If it’s not the same as a genuine retailer, you should avoid it at all costs. If you’re contacted by an unfamiliar provider, check them out with colleagues in your industry and always look for genuine online reviews before you place an order.

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