If you work on the administrative side of any business, from the construction to forestry industry to everything in between, you have to deal with technology. Payments, contracts, employee records and more can be processed digitally now. For example, a construction contractor may be required to digitally submit documents for a job, or a trucking vendor may ask to be paid online vs via a check.
Though digital automation can save time and money, it also creates scam risk. Every day, countless scammers attempt (and sometimes succeed) to steal money from hardworking companies. If you work on the admin side of these companies, it’s crucial that you can identify and avoid a potential scam.
Here are five tips to take to protect yourself against scammers:
- Double check the sender’s email address: Scammers often use email addresses that are similar to legitimate companies, but with slight variations. For example, instead of “email@example.com”, a scammer might use “support@paypaI.com” (note the capital “I” instead of “l”). Scammers will frequently use an @gmail or @yahoo email address in place of a person’s company address. When meeting a new business contact, verify their email address, and always double-check to make sure it is legitimate.
- Avoid unfamiliar links: Many email scams include links that, when clicked, will take you to a fake website designed to steal your personal information. If you receive an email with a link, hover your mouse over the link to see where it leads before clicking on it. If the URL looks suspicious or unfamiliar, do not click on it.
- Look for errors like misspellings: Many email scams are poorly written and contain spelling and grammatical errors, and more specifically may contain misspellings of names and details. If someone you’ve been emailing with suddenly forgets how to spell your name, it may be a scam.
- Be wary of urgent or threatening language: Scammers often use urgent or threatening language in an attempt to get you to act quickly without thinking. For example, an email might claim that your account has been compromised and that you need to take immediate action to secure it. If you receive an email with urgent or threatening language, take a step back and think before responding.
- Never give out personal information: Legitimate companies will never ask you to provide personal information such as your Social Security number or credit card information via email. If an email asks for this type of information, it is likely a scam.
Depending on the size of your company, it might also be worth hiring an IT or cybersecurity partner to help reinforce your company and vet any potential scams.
The world is getting increasingly more digital-focused, which means business will be pulled more and more online. This applies to the forestry, construction, and crane sectors as much as any other industry.
Scammers are relentless, so it’s up to business owners to stay one step ahead!