SME’s have been a common target for scammers, but the latest research by The Westpac State of SME Scam Report has shown that on average SME’s are losing a staggering $38,845 and are only able to recover 44% of the monies lost. The report shows that 46% of SME’s are affected by a scam, however only 25% of those have invested in training and scam prevention tactics.

SME’s are most often targeted by phishing, false billing and invoices, and domain name renewal scams. These scammers not only waste the businesses money, but also their time.  On average it takes 33 days to rectify a scam, which also impacts the business cash flow and profits. Businesses are affected internally by this disruption and a further 15% reported that their brand and client relations were negatively impacted by scams.

While some scams are easy to identify, scammers are becoming more sophisticated about their operations in a bid to avoid detection and it is vital to ensure you and your business are protected.

Here are some ways you can protect your business and staff from being targeted:

  1. Staff training & awareness

Some scams such as email compromise and remote access are so well disguised that it takes an expert to recognise what they are. Invest some resources into staff training on what these look like, and provide education about the correct protocol to follow to report these scams. You may want to set some ground rules about opening suspicious emails and whom they need to be reported to.

  1. Avoid ‘Scam Shame’

Two in five small business employees are worried they will lose their job because their business has been targeted by a scam. Make sure that all staff understand that prevention is stronger as a team, and it’s not about laying blame on the person who received the scam, what is important is being proactive and reporting it before the scammer is able to access business information or funds.

  1. Invest in protection

Software to protect your IT will help to highlight some obvious phishing emails to reduce the number that has potential to impact your business. It is helpful to review your business insurance policy to determine what benefits you are entitled to if you do experience business disruption.

CAAA Commercial Concierge offer a complimentary assessment of your insurance and risk policies to make sure you and your business operations are protected. Talk to your concierge about a review today.

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