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Business Crime

Knowing what to look for can help you and your employees identify common business scams. Be vigilant and put safeguards in place to help prevent criminal activity.

Business crime prevention

Whether you’re self-employed, own a small business or run a large corporation, an external or internal business crime can cost your organization money, damage your brand and compromise your reputation. Use these risk management tips to help prevent crime before it happens.

  • Train employees on how to detect and prevent common scams such as:

    • Cyber security scams, sense of urgency scams and bullying tactics

    • charges for unordered or unused goods

    • requests for information or banking details from an unknown person or organization

  • Empower employees to act, investigate any seemingly suspicious request and immediately report suspected criminal activity

  • Maintain well-organized filing and accounting systems so it’s easier to detect bogus accounts and invoices as well as double-check every payment request

  • Have clear procedures in place to ensure all invoices are legitimate

  • Authorize a limited number of people to pay invoices or place business orders and use a documented approval process that includes verbal authentication

  • Follow best practices for posting business information on public sites and social media

  • Keep office networks, computers and mobile devices secure by installing regular security software updates, changing passwords, regularly backing up regular data and storing files off-site and offline

Source: Competition Bureau Canada

How to document and report business crime

It’s estimated that less than 5% of business scams are reported to Canadian law enforcement agencies. If you suspect your business may have been targeted, here’s how to document and report criminal activity.

  • Gather all information about the suspected scam, such as:

    • names, contact information, website and IP addresses (if possible)

    • screenshots, URLs and printouts of key web pages

    • search terms used to find a scam website

    • receipts, cancelled cheques, electronics funds transfers, emails, text or online messages, printed materials

  • Report the incident to

    • local law enforcement – especially if your business losses money. This may be a condition of your crime coverage.

    • the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or at 1-888-495-8501

    • or the Competition Bureau if you suspect misleading or deceptive marketing

    • the financial institution that transferred the money

    • the website where the incident took place (if applicable)

  • Place an alert on your business file and check your credit report

Source: Competition Bureau Canada