How to Avoid Business Scams

Business Law

With the new government anti-spam legislation, fraud artists are resurrecting old ways of snagging people. We recently stumbled over an ‘official’ looking form sent by regular mail to a company’s place of business, looking to sell services for preparing and filing a company’s annual reports.  The business sending out the form was counting on someone quickly perusing the form and submitting funds along with highly confidential business information to have these documents prepared and filed.  A closer look revealed the business scam when it was clear the company was not legitimate, nor providing services appropriate for a British Columbia based company.

Many scam artists prey upon new business owners in the hope that they will respond to official looking documentation and provide not only funds, but also confidential business information. These scams can look quite slick and professional.  Sometimes the scams are more obvious to spot but, more often than not, only a trained eye can spot the catch.

When a business firm requires that you submit a “check” (instead of a cheque) for fees, that may be a clue to “double check” they are legit! Be aware, if you’re a British Columbia company, this most recent scammer is referencing inapplicable Federal legislation, which more than likely does not even apply to your company.

It is also wise to keep in mind that a firm requiring payment up front for an elective service may not be a legitimate business. New businesses can be particularly vulnerable when dealing with this sort of documentation, so we highly encourage you to consult a lawyer to be sure you are not putting your company at risk for fraud.  If you have any questions about this, or anything relating to your company, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Erin J. Easingwood
Partner, Business Law
Lindsay Kenney LLP – Vancouver Law Office