Tag Archives: Scams

Newsletter from the Small Business Development Corporation

Volume 3 – Issue 5 – May 2014

  • 3 steps to hiring a web professional
  • From the Commissioner
  • Sally & Craig make sea change a success
  • New cyber fraud alert
  • WA State budget 2014-2015 – What’s in it for small business?
  • Have your say about the Personal Property Securities Act
  • Have your say about ASIC services
  • Inspiring WA women
  • Video: SBDC 30 years in 5 minutes

Link: SDBC Newsletter May 14

Scammers targeting small business and “tradies”

The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) is today warning tradies and other small businesses advertising in local newspapers and trade publications, to be aware of scams involving bogus invoices and demands for payment.

SBDC Chief Executive Officer, David Eaton says scams of this type prey on busy small business operators, and those who do not have structured payment systems in place.

“Many small business operators, particularly self-employed tradespeople, are busy working in their businesses and are time-poor when it comes to paperwork,” Mr Eaton said.

“This can leave them vulnerable to scams where payment of invoices for unauthorised advertisements is demanded, so if you’re not sure ask for your authorisation”.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Anne Driscoll says many businesses have been cold-called by people claiming to represent a variety of publications and demanding payment for advertising in those publications.

“Investigations are continuing into these reports and we would like to warn all businesses to be aware of these unsolicited approaches,” Ms Driscoll said.

The SBDC has been contacted by the Community Newspaper Group concerned that scammers may be targeting their valued classified advertising clients in these deceitful practices.

Christine Sutherland, Sales Director for the Community Newspaper Group said the paper’s trades and services section may have been a target in this current wave of scams.

“We have had reports from a couple of our customers regarding this scam and that the callers, in an effort to lure them in, have pretended to be from the Community Newspaper Group,” Ms Sutherland said.

We would like to inform all of our customers, that if they have any doubts or concerns that the person they are talking to, who is claiming to be from the Community Newspaper Group, may not be who they say they are, simply take their name and call us on 13 20 13 to resume the conversation.  That way you can be sure the caller is bona fide.”

For more information and advice, contact: the Small Business Development Corporation on  13 12 49  or visit www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au; Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 or consumer@commerce.wa.gov.au

and the WA ScamNet website: www.wascamnet.wa.gov.au .

Important Scam Warning – altered BSB & Account on valid invoices!

Please note that the Chamber has verified that this is a real scam suffered by a business in Harvey so please take a few moments to read this post.

We’ve had a notification of scam known in the UK and now being applied in WA via electronic invoicing, where a scammer has intercepted and altered large monetary value invoices being sent to customers. The invoices are then on sent to the customer, with an altered BSB & Account number and email contact, and subsequently paid by the customer – who inadvertently pays the scammer instead of the supplier.

You can prevent this by implementing the following procedures:

  • Store your known & confirmed supplier bank details in your electronic bank payments – most internet bank accounts allow this. When paying invoices always check that invoice bank details are the same as your stored details.
  • Only change them when you are sure the change is a valid request from your supplier.
  • Always look carefully at large value invoices to ensure they are a) genuine, b) for a known service that you have ordered and c) carry the original known bank details.
  • Check the contact email address carefully to ensure that its not a .net or .org when it should be a .com or .com.au
  • Always send a confirmation email to your supplier to alert them that your invoice has been paid as this shortens the cycle dramatically for the scammer which could enable banks & authorities to retrieve misappropriated funds.
  • If you receive notification from a customer that a large bill has been paid but can’t see the funds follow it up immediately with the customer as your outgoing email may have been compromised.
  • If you suspect you have received an altered invoice or that one has been sent in your name, contact authorities immediately on WA ScamNet at Consumer Protection by calling 1300 30 40 54 or emailing: scamquery@commerce.wa.gov.au.

For more information see these articles:

And finally before you ask – yes the Chamber has changed its bank account details! Our new account is still at the Bendigo Bank so same BSB 633-108 but new account number of 149739567. If you require further confirmation call me on 9756 2776, thanks Mel.