Top 10 Lessons from Fraud Prevention Month

fraud_logo_colorFraud Prevention Month has come to an end for another year. The awareness-raising initiative is formally over but there’s no better time than always to keep the momentum going so your small business remains fraud-free.

If you had a chance to visit the My StartUp blog during March, you’re already aware that we unveiled a wealth of insight, tips, and research on fraud prevention. To officially wrap up our fraud prevention efforts, we’re counting the top 10 lessons from Fraud Prevention Month.

  1. Fraud takes a toll on small businesses, with the average cost in the past year amounting to $6,200 per business.
  2. About one in five small businesses in Canada suffers a financial hit from fraud.
  3. The non-financial effect of being victimized by fraud (e.g., stress, lost time) can be worse than the financial aspects.
  4. Small businesses spent an average of $2,900 in the last year on fraud prevention.
  5. About 44% of all small businesses don’t report fraud, thinking that it will be too time-consuming, or that law enforcement won’t be of much help.
  6. The three most common scams to hit small businesses are: bogus payments, email scams, and phishing scams.
  7. Many fraudsters use the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as cover to try to extract personal information from businesses, so be careful during tax season and confirm that it really is the CRA you’re dealing with.
  8. Fraud prevention starts at your place of business: your employees are your best assets when it comes to spotting fraud: this downloadable poster can help them be on the lookout for credit card fraud.
  9. Reporting fraud helps authorities track the problem and also develop better enforcement policies: contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the Competition Bureau or your CFIB business counsellor.
  10. The more you know how scams work, the better you’ll be at stopping them in their tracks. My StartUp’s series of blogs on fraud prevention are straight from the front lines, so pay close attention to the details and don’t be fooled!

Finally, when in doubt, always remember the tried and true advice you’ve been hearing since childhood: if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

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