Money transfers are the lifeblood of any business, allowing them to quickly pay bills and get paid – and many think they’ll never fall victim to a scammer requesting cash. But the reality is that rising numbers of companies are being targeted, and hit hard. It’s especially true for small firms, which are a particular favourite of the scamming criminals.
How are they managing to dupe companies into transferring cash? The answer is simple and highly effective – just by using email. They might, for instance, pretend to be one of your suppliers and use one of their email addresses to mail your company and ask for payment. Who’s going to check to see if the mail is legitimate? The average SME is way too busy to even think about it.
The key to discovering this deception is to check the reply email address; if the reply to address – usually a common web-based service, such as Gmail and others – is different to the from address then alarm bells should definitely be ringing.
More sophisticated cyber criminals will typically hack into a company’s email account and go through their mail to work out the most potentially rewarding targets. Then it’s a matter of conning people with a fake email conversation, and, again, it’s just so easy to do.
Like any criminal, the scammers employ a range of psychological tricks so as not to arouse suspicion. You can expect their initial emails to be short and casual, and the sender will often pretend to be the business owner or some other figure of authority. They’ll send emails to a member of staff, and the staff member will feel they are doing their duty when they comply with the demands. Sound far-fetched? Check out the movie Compliance.
Then, if the money transfer is not immediately forthcoming, they’ll add an element of urgency to it, by saying something like “I need to do this quickly”. It’s easy to fall into the trap and just send the money, because the scammer will seem like they know everything about your business. A few online searches is all it takes to get that information, though, as nowadays there’s so much information on the internet about companies.
If the requested money is transferred, it will be all but impossible to get it back. The criminals normally use a number of accounts and transfer the funds from one to another so they’re hard to trace. The general rule here is to avoid transferring money based on an email conversation, and certainly never permit your staff to make any transfers without first having an offline go-ahead from you. In addition, Google the company you’re sending money to and phone them to confirm their bank details.
If you would like to know more about IT security and what steps you can take to prevent cyber fraud, get in touch with the experts at Nimbus in Northern Ireland today.
Whatever the size and market of your business, Nimbus Computer Solutions provide a range of financial management software solutions that can be adapted to your current infrastructure.
Working with Sage and Partners over this past 15 years in the UK and Ireland, Nimbus are committed to Sage products as well as the support and enhancement of their products.
Carrying out Sage installs over many of sites has resulted in an enviable depth of knowledge, understanding of the strengths, as well as functionality which is not available in the standard products.
The Sage 50 range of software is designed for small and growing businesses. Sage 50 Accounts 2016 helps you to manage your customers, suppliers and day to day finances, including your VAT and end of year accounts.
Stay in control of your finances and share information with your accountant in a common language. Free yourself to concentrate on running your business.
MANAGE YOUR FINANCES
With Sage 50 Accounts, Sage have made managing your day-to-day finances – things like profit and loss, sales and purchase entry and keeping track on what goes in and goes out – really easy. You simply enter information once and all the double entry details are filled in automatically, with reports and summaries updated at the same time. By keeping things simple, doing your accounts isn’t such a time-consuming job.
MANAGE YOUR VAT
Sage will help you keep on top of those VAT returns, making sure you’re keeping the right records and calculating your VAT correctly.
MANAGING YOUR CUSTOMERS AND SUPPLIERS
So the scenario is simple, you provide goods, you supply those goods and the customer pays you…simple right? In reality this process is often more complicated than it sounds, you may have to negotiate discounts in order for deals to be closed or need cash up front to purchase materials. With the Sage 50 Accounts solution these types of sales are straightforward to manage and account for.
DEALING WITH DEPOSITS
Knowing who owes you what and when is the basis of the successful management of your accounts. Sage 50 Accounts helps you manage deposits no matter how big, small or complex.
Whether you’re calculating a percentage of the total or taking into account a lump sum; whether you need to take payments before you confirm an order or just at the point of sale, Sage makes sure the figures add up. Because deposits are clearly shown on your invoices and orders, customers can see exactly what they owe and when.
HELPING YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR BUSINESS
Information you enter into your accounts contains just about everything you need to know to manage your business.
When you enter basic transaction details, you’re not just managing your cash and VAT; you’re also building a valuable database of information about your business.
- Who your best companies best customers are
- Who is buying what
- When they are buying it
- Which suppliers supply which products
- Who has the best credit history
and there’s more…
Report by period, see your profit and loss, balances and other information in an easy to understand format. Customise or choose from a variety of pre-defined reports.
Call us for more details 028 900 800 30