Being alert and learning how to recognise potential scams can save your business time and money.
You can get ahead of scammers by keeping up to date with latest scams and knowing what to do if you’re targeted.
Scammers try to get your attention in a number of ways including by email, post, phone call or they may even try it in person. Their purpose is to deceive you to gain money or information.
Scammers often put a bit of effort into researching and designing their scams to convince targets their offer or request is legitimate.
Online scams can pretend to be from organisations, businesses or even individuals you trust to trick you into giving scammers your money or your personal details to steal your identity.
You can protect your business by being aware of how the services you use – eg bank, phone and internet providers and government agencies - contact their customers.
Legitimate businesses and government agencies will never ask you to follow a link in an email or SMS to verify your identity.
If you’re suspicious of an approach to your business, check Scamwatch.
If you think you've been scammed, contact your bank and report it online to Scamwatch.
Some of the common scams targeting business
- Tax time scams – scammers contact businesses by email, phone or SMS pretending to be from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) offering a tax refund and requesting personal details. Be aware that the ATO will not email you requesting your bank details or tax file number. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the ATO and requesting personal details, report it to the ATO and Scamwatch.
- Payment redirection scams - scammers pretend to be legitimate suppliers advising you of changes to payment details or they hack your emails to make the change themselves. Before paying any major invoice, contact the supplier using details you already have on record to verify the payment details.
- Identity theft scams – your identity is stolen and used to open a bank account or credit card to steal money.
- Website domain name scams – scammers send you a formal-looking letter which looks like an invoice to renew your current domain name. However, it’s actually selling a new but very similar domain name e.g. .com instead of .com.au.
- Phishing scams - scammers contact you by phone, text, email or social media pretending to be from a legitimate business e.g. government, bank, phone company or internet provider seeking your banking and personal details
- False billing scams – scammers send you fake invoices
- Charity scams – scammers impersonate charities seeking donations
- Grant-related scams – scammers offer fake grants to obtain businesses’ information
- COVID-19 scams - scammers are taking advantage of businesses and individuals, particularly through COVID payment redirection and investment scams.
Be aware that Government grant information is available free online and government agencies will never ask you to pay for it. The Australian Government business website has some tips to protect your business from scams when searching for government grants to support your business.
Learn more by viewing the resources below.