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Protect your company from cyber scams

Have you heard about the latest, devastating email scam befalling Sage and Clare Homewares Business?

You may be at risk of similar scams.  You are especially vulnerable this time of the year, when you are offered tax refunds and are subsequently asked to provide your credit card details and passwords. We wanted to share this important update with you so you can inform your team as soon as possible.

What do cyber scams look like?

  • You will generally receive an email with a subject line similar to “Important notice” along with a familiar looking logo. Often it will be identical to the logo of a supplier or client you know well. This could trick you into believing the email you received is authentic.
  • Scam emails often ask you to update bank account or credit card details of your clients or suppliers. To some, this might seem sufficiently suspicious but many of us are still taken in by the fake request.
  • By this time, the scammers have already successfully established a channel to steal money from your clients. When you realise what has occurred, it is often too late to recover from the consequences of money lost and your damaged relationship with clients.

What you should do in such situation?

  • If you have us as a bookkeeper, you will have nothing to worry about. We are constantly in contact with your clients and suppliers, and we go through extensive banking detail checks to ensure all correspondence is legitimate. We recommend joining with a secure agency such as ourselves to protect your business.
  • For the time being, inform your team of this new scam, and remind them to immediately report any suspicious emails or calls.
  • Implement latest anti-spam security software to detect suspicious content and senders.
  • Consider implementing regular e-mail system security audits, and upgrade your email system if necessary.
  • Talk to us anytime you are doubtful of any transaction or request. We are capable of engaging with cyber security professionals to help you resolve any potential problems.

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3 useful tips for shop owners to mitigate risk of sales fraud

20% of our clients are in the retail & food industry or in a business using a Point of Sales (POS) system. Their daily transactions are composed of 20-30% cash and 70-80% Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sales (EFTPOS). Though the level of cash transactions may be seen as low, substantial fraud can often take place in cash transactions. According to the research undertaken by Inside Retail Australia, cash fraud penalties for some retail owners exceeded one million dollars.

If shop owners do not have an appropriate procedure for daily reconciliation,it is extremely troublesome to identify irregularities after a few weeks.Thinking of my first casual job as a student at a restaurant, I was responsible for reconciliation between a cash register and a POS system. This sometimes took up to 3 hours per day, but had been proven to be a worthwhile practice,for the restaurant as a small business. As EFTPOS became more popular, shop owners started to pay less attention to their cash revenue, which accelerated risk of fraud. Since owners largely rely on an auto-settlement system provided by EFTPOS providers,fraud in cash transactions have been much overlooked.Furthermore, shop owners may not have thought about potential fraud from EFTPOS transactions.

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