According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans lost $328 Million dollars to scams in 2017. Innocent people, many of whom lost businesses, were targeted through various schemes such as debt collection, identity theft, imposter transactions, tax fraud and more. Criminals don’t discriminate on whom they victimize, and small businesses often create the perfect targets for malicious characters. If you own a business, here are six safety tips to practice in order to protect yourself – and your clients – from scams:

1. Do Your Homework: Before choosing to work with a vendor or service provider, research their credentials and make sure that they are legitimate. Use formal referral services as well to choose qualified licensed! practitioners.

2. Listen to the Crowd: Customer review sites can often throw up important red flags about a company or person you’re deliberating going into business with. If you read bad reviews, avoid entrusting them with any of your assets.

3. Secure Your Records: Businesses collect an infinite amount of information in order to function. Whether electronic or hardcopy, invest in systems and hardware that make it impossible for data to be shared or leaked to unauthorized individuals.

4. Listen to Your Gut: If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t allow yourself to get enticed by discounts or free offers when it means sacrificing your own invaluable assets in return. It’s always safer to be skeptical about unbelievable offers.

5. Take Notes: If you notice someone trying to scam you, remove yourself from the transaction while also gathering evidence of their intentions. Keeping a record of what you learn about a scam can end up being necessary to help yourself, or others, in future.

6. Blow the Whistle: The moment you notice something underhanded happening to yourself or someone else, alert the authorities so that they can put an end to the crime. Sometimes scams end up thriving for a long time because people pass the buck on taking a stand.

Most people who go into business are completely focused. They understand exactly what they’re trying to accomplish, and they’re prepared to work as hard as possible in order achieve success. Any reasonable entrepreneur accepts that business is competitive in nature. Unfortunately, a vast number of people who go into business get caught! up in devastating predicaments because they underestimate just how ruthless said competition actually is. If you ever go into business, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for the competition. However, always remember that you also have to keep an eye out for the threats as well. To be specific, keep an eye out for scams. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how The RISE Programs Academy for Business Coaching and Leadership Training can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.