Feeds

Small.biz demands scam protection

Under attack

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on ministers to furnish small firms with safeguards from dishonest scams. It says the government's plans to protect consumers from shady dealers should extend to small businesses, otherwise they will continue to fall foul of the criminals.

The call came as the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) launched 'scam awareness month' - a campaign to alert the public to deceptive and fraudulent mass marketed scams. The OFT has the power to serve 'Stop Now Orders' on con artists who swindle consumers. But a clause in the 2002 Enterprise Act excludes businesses and the self-employed from similar protection.

Small firms are more vulnerable to scams because they have fewer resources to conduct background checks on business partners, nor, so the FSB argues, check all their correspondence thoroughly. In the last year, a range of scams have targeted SMEs, including the European City Guide fiddle, in which firms were invited to list themselves, but were subsequently charged for the privilege.

In another con, official-looking documents were sent out to small businesses by an organisation claiming to be an official health and safety group. It said they were in breach of safety rules and demanded hundreds of pounds in 'registration' payments. FSB trade and industry chairman Tina Sommer said: "The aim of scam month is to arm consumers with the knowledge and skills necessary to recognise and report scams - but what about small firms? Fraudsters are increasingly aware that small business owners must do two full time jobs - run their firm and also comply with ever increasing regulations and red tape."

The OFT has published a list of 10 scams to look out for. They include telephone lottery scams, premium rate number prize draws and pyramid schemes.

Copyright © 2005, Startups.co.uk logo

Related stories

Small.biz gets more spam
Watch out for bogus health and safety invoices
UK.gov urged to lead fight on e-crime

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.