Small business owners—be aware of this recent unemployment scam going on! Fraudsters have been filing for unemployment with business owner’s names. Since they know that small business owners are many times too busy to open their email, the file for unemployment usually goes through.
Four of our clients have reported this happening to them. We are warning you to avoid these fraudsters. Don’t become a victim of this scam.
Why are Fraudsters Targeting Small Business Owners?
Small business owners are the main target for this unemployment scam because of the extra coronavirus relief benefits. The added unemployment benefits are enticing to the scammers. Business owners are especially busy, and often don’t realize that an email went through their inbox. This is how the fraudster will successfully claim their unemployment benefits.
How are Fraudsters Claiming My Unemployment Benefits?
These people can obtain all your information. This includes your name, birthdate, Social Security number, and more. They use all this information to apply for unemployment.
Remember that the government will never call to ask for your personal information like Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers. If you get a phone call asking for this information—hang up and block the number.
How Can I Avoid Unemployment Scams?
There are many steps that small business owners can take to avoid this unemployment scam. Be sure to practice the following and look out for red flags.
Check Email Sources
If an email isn’t from a government source, or you think it looks a little off, do not respond. Check for grammatical errors. Send that email to your spam box and ignore it. If you reply or click a link in fraudulent emails, you might give access to your personal information.
Be Cautious of Website Credibility
When paying for something online, check the website’s credibility. Websites should never ask for your Social Security number when purchasing something. This an easy way for scammers to get ahold of your personal information.
Your phone, laptop, and desktop should all have security software installed. Keep your technology and software up-to-date to avoid any security breaches.
What Should I Do If a Scammer Claims My Unemployment Benefits?
If you suspect a scam, contact local and federal authorities. You can report fraud over the phone and some states let you report it online. Maryland business owners affected by scams can find reporting information here.
Maintain Your Bookkeeping Records
Is your small business growing? Do you find it hard to keep up with daily tasks like checking emails? Consider sending work to an outside contractor. This gives you time to focus on what is more important in your business.
PL Consulting is your business’s go-to resource for bookkeeping and accounting services. We will help you maintain good records. If we suspect fraudulent activity on your account, we will contact you immediately.
The past year has brought hardship to small business owners. Start 2021 by avoiding this unemployment scam. Call us at 410.764.3731 or contact us on our website to schedule an appointment for our bookkeeping and accounting services.