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Beware of this business scam

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A place to talk about general business discussions.
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Old 08-08-2005, 04:30 PM
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Here is something very interesting that was sent to me.

Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]The "Please cash our check for $4.23" scam
A newer and even more brilliant scam, this one starts by actually putting money in your pocket and then proceeds to take much larger amounts out. It goes like this:

The scammer finds your business's name and address on the internet or through a business or Yellow Pages directory. The scammer then mails you a check for a small amount, say $4.23, which is payable to your business. Your accounts receivable clerk dutifully deposits the check along with the 43 other checks you received that day.

You've just been scammed!

But how can cashing a check for $4.23 hurt your business? Here's why: When the check comes back to the scammer, the information on that cashed check allows the scammer to learn your checking account number which, as we saw in the first scam, allows them to start writing demand drafts on your checking account.

Talk about a great ** but illegal ** return on investment. The scammer spends just $4.23 to obtain valuable information that can lead to hundreds if not thousands of easy but illegal dollars. Pretty clever, I'd say.

What to Do: In addition to eternal vigilance in reconciling your checking account, an early way to detect this scam is to have your accounts receivable clerk reconcile all incoming checks with existing customer accounts and balances before cashing any check. If a check isn't expected or isn't from a regular customer, don't cash it until you can determine the source.

It's seems really sad to me that there are creative and brilliant entrepreneurs out there who decide that developing new and better scams to steal from people is a better business model than being the owner of a business that actually helps people and adds value to their lives. And it's even sadder if your business unwittingly starts "doing business with" these entrepreneurial scammers.

So keep your eyes open, and you'll avoid these unwanted business partnerships.
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