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Common Fraud that C-Store Owners Need To Know: Fraud Prevention Starts With You

March may be Fraud Prevention Month, but this is a topic that should be in the back of your head no matter the time of year. Did you know one out of every five small businesses has been a victim of fraud?* As a C-Store owner or manager you’ve put in a lot of hard work and dedication to grow your business, so you need to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep it protected from fraud and revenue loss. Luckily there are many steps you can take to stop these fraudsters from making you their next victim. 

It may seem like it is simple to detect fraud and scams but fraudsters are persistent and clever, they do this for a living and know how to play on your emotions. Here is a list of 3 common scams and the steps you need to take to ensure your business is safe from these thieves:

1. Phishing Scams - You get an unsolicited email, fax or text message that claims to be from a legitimate organization asking you to provide or verify personal or financial information, like your credit card number, passwords and social insurance number.

How to protect your business:

  • Ignore communication from unknown contacts
  • No one from a legitimate organization will ever ask you for personal, financial, or business information unsolicited
  • If you receive a text message or email like this - ignore, delete and block the sender
  • Never use the phone number or email address provided - find a verified website for that company and use that number that is provided on the website  
2. Telephone Scams - occurs when a fraudster phones your store and impersonates one of the product suppliers you work with and asks you to print vouchers or disclose product information i.e. PIN codes or claim codes.

How to protect your business:

  • If you receive a call like this - hang up! The fraudster is trying to defraud you of money
  • Call your prepaid supplier and inform them of the call you received
3. Computer Software/Product Update Scams - You receive a call from someone claiming that your POS system is out of date and requires a product update or new software download, and requests that you download software onto your computer to complete a new product update.

How to protect your business:

  • Do not provide any information that the caller is asking for, especially passwords
  • If you receive a call like this - hang up! 
  • Call your POS System supplier and inform them of the suspicious call

Golden rule of staying safe from fraud: Never give information away on the phone. Hang up and call the legitimate company directly. It is always better to be safe then deal with potential financial losses and any legitimate company will understand why you would do this.

One final piece of advice - As a business owner or manager you need to stay informed of the latest scams that can affect your business. But more importantly, it is crucial to ensure that every employee receives proper fraud training so they understand how best to deal with fraudulent encounters. Remember, fraudsters often call during off hours or during long shifts, it's essential that every member of your team is aware of these  scams

To learn more about fraud that can affect your business and how to not fall victim, read our eBook - Fraud: Cost & Consequences. Protect Your Business.

 
 
 
 
*https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/tools-resources/fraud-small-business

Other Source: https://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/04333.html

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