The Claims and Chargebacks Conundrum

There is another layer to claims and Chargebacks that your business should look at.
There is a growing number of intentional claims and chargebacks.

Some buyers, receive your product and then claim their item was never received.

Add a component to your team’s efforts and research.

Customer support is very important, but protecting your revenue against fraudsters is equally important.

Contact me and I will help you mitigate this growing issue.

Common COVID-19 And IT Cyber Scams

This information is very valuable and my Bank sent it to me.

Protect yourself from cybercriminals and hackers by educating yourself on some common scams designed to trick you into giving out your personal information or get to your money.  We’ve highlighted the details of common COVID-19 scams and IT scams so you can arm yourself with the tools to stay cyber safe.

COVID-19 Scams

Many scammers are leveraging the latest information and fears around the short supply of COVID-19 vaccines to trick people into signing up for “supposed” vaccine appointments. Scammers are using telemarketing calls, text messages, emails, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits to perpetrate these and other COVID-19-related scams. For example, fraudsters are offering COVID-19 tests, HHS grants, and Medicare prescription cards in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information.

If you click on a link, download an attachment or provide information over the phone, cybercriminals could be stealing your credentials and personal information for financial gain.

Key Takeaways – How can you protect yourself?

  • You will not be asked for money to enhance your ranking for vaccine eligibility. Government and State officials will not call you to obtain personal information in order to receive the vaccine, and you will not be solicited door-to-door to receive the vaccine.
  • Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately.
  • Do not respond to, or open hyperlinks in text messages or emails about COVID-19 from unknown individuals.
  • Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media sites. If you make an appointment for a COVID-19 test online, make sure the location is an official testing site.
  • Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone claiming to offer HHS grants related to COVID-19.
  • Be aware of scammers pretending to be COVID-19 contact tracers. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Medicare number or financial information, or attempt to set up a COVID-19 test for you and collect payment information for the test.
  • If you suspect COVID-19 health care fraud, report it immediately online or call 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477).
  • For further information, https://oig.hhs.gov/coronavirus/fraud-alert-covid19.asp or https://usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds.

One more important reminder as it relates to COVID-19.  Avoid posting your vaccination record card on social media as it can be a rich source of intel (birthdays, names, vaccination sites) for fraudsters, hackers and other cybercriminals.  This personal information can be used to craft convincing, individually-tailored phishing campaigns. For instance, scammers can use it to send messages masquerading as follow-ups from the clinic where an individual received the vaccine, asking for a fraudulent “click here” to schedule an appointment that could instead lead to downloading malware or other malicious result.

IT Scams

There has been a big spike in IT scams recently, and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Fraudsters may attempt to initiate contact with you through an email, a phone call, or computer pop-ups claiming to be with a legitimate company (for example, Amazon, Microsoft, and anti-virus software companies). They inform the target victim that their computer is infected, that they have fraudulent charges, or they are entitled to some type of refund. The fraudster will then request remote access into your device, instructing you to login into your banking website, and proceed to conduct fraudulent activity such as a money transfer.

Key Takeaways – How can you protect yourself?

  • Unless you can verify the caller is from a reputable service provider (e.g., Microsoft, Apple), do not allow anyone access to your computer. They will not call you unless you have called them about an issue first.
  • Do not use the phone number in a pop-up. Use the official phone number listed for the vendor you are trying to contact.
  • Never give anyone your passwords over the phone or in an email – reputable companies will not ask for them.
  • Install a reputable anti-virus solution and ensure it has the latest updates.
  • Check your accounts for suspicious activity (e.g., money transfers between your own accounts).

Is Cleaning Your Browsing Data Enough? Think Again!

Google has a great tool to actually and really clean your browsing history, cookies, and data.
With Chrome being used a lot and also G-Suite for companies, do yourselves and your companies a favor and delete everything at least once per week.
When you click on History on Chrome,
Bottom left you see: Your Google Account may have other forms of browsing history at myactivity.google.com

Click on it and you will see another set of activities you had no idea about. So next to each day, click the garbage bin and delete. See picture below:

Keep going down and delete every day.

After you have deleted everything, you will see:
Good job!
Close this tab, go back to your history, and clean your browsing data as well:

If you get in the habit of cleaning everything, you will be safer.
We do banking, meetings, financial transactions online.
Why leave a trace for any hacker behind?
The first time I had to delete 5 years worth of data.
Took me about 45 minutes.
After that day, I clean both history and my activity every night before I switch off my computer and it takes literally 3 minutes at most.

So spread the word! Tell your teams, your employees, family members, friends!
And this applies to both PC and Apple computers, and laptops.

Know Your Business When Creating Positions

Be very careful when you create a new position for your company!
I see a lot of companies having trouble finding who they want for their teams.
This is on you.
HR and Leadership MUST know the specifics of each position and their business inside and out.
Example:
When you are trying to find a Risk analyst, or Fraud prevention team member:
You cannot ask for data analysis, prevention AND SQL.
Your IT department has to work WITH this person and fix your back end according to suggestions.
The Fraud/ Risk professional is doing all they can to prevent, examine, mitigate and reply.
They cannot also do the back end work.
When you upload an open position, be VERY specific.
Adding too many responsibilities to one position will only complicate the work flow, the effectiveness and the results.

NEVER assume you know everything.
Be the leaders you portray in your Company’s websites, and Social Media pages.

The better you divide responsibilities, the faster your company will grow, be protected and see results.

Data Privacy

Celebrate Data Privacy Day by making sure you’re following best practices to protect your data and your privacy. There’s no better time to review the security procedures that can protect you, your family and your business from unwanted intrusions.
Tips and reminders to help you keep your data private
1 Protect your personal information. Everything you do online, or on your mobile devices, or even via the Internet of Things exposes you to criminal actors and unwanted invasions of your privacy. Check out StaySafeOnline.org to find out ways you can make small changes that yield bigger protections.
2 Review the data your apps have access to. Delete unused apps and review privacy settings and permissions. Go into your device’s settings to review and change permissions you may not even have been aware certain apps had, like access to call logs, microphone and your location.
3 Tighten up Social Media permissions to avoid leaks. First, make sure you’ve turned off public sharing. Then, only accept friend requests from people you know and trust. Finally, review each network’s privacy policies and check the settings on your devices.
4 Control who can track you on the web. Surfing the web leaves you vulnerable to cyber attacks and identity theft. Start by getting into the habit of clearing your cache and deleting cookies daily, via your browser’s settings. Also don’t automatically accept “cookies.” Most reputable websites will offer you a “manage cookies” option where you can deselect options that invade your privacy.
5 Update Internet of Things (IoT) passwords. Many IoT devices, such as smart lights, voice-controlled smart speakers and home hubs, come with default passwords which leave you open to hacking and spying.

 

 

Shipments during a worldwide pandemic

We all agree that this pandemic has created a lot of difficulties.
A ton of companies are struggling with shipments and deliveries, because they depend on shipping carriers to deliver their goods, and also manufacturers to ship on time.

I read a lot of complaints, and wanted to write this article to explain a few things.

Do you think that companies like the delays?
Do you think that startups knew that a global virus will pretty much decimate all their efforts?
Do you think that companies don’t need and want to be successful and retain their revenue so that they can pay their employees who are struggling financially like so many of us?

So before you lash out at delivery delays and label any company a fraud, or a hoax, take a step back and think.
Put yourself in their shoes.
If you were the company’s owner trying to get answers from manufacturers and shipping companies, how would you react?
How would you save your company?

We have become consumer spoiled brats and expect instant gratification 100% of the time, without realizing what this means to those who try to serve our needs and purchases, especially during a global catastrophe.

So please be courteous, be patient and flexible.
NONE of our purchases (except for medication, food and life saving devices) are a life or death matter.

Show some respect, kindness and understanding.
Consider yourselves lucky not to walk in those business owners shoes!

New Hires and Payment

With the entire business structure changing around us, there are a few tips and risks.
If you are starting a business:
Do not rent a space yet. Keep your overhead as low as possible.
You will need help to establish your business and it is much better to have some money to pay those you need to hire, rather than paying for office space.
Times are changing. Having an office does not make you successful. Your team does!

If you are an existing business but are struggling, you have a dilemma:
Do you need a space? If yes, you will have to adjust your operations to survive.
If no, then move out. It will save you major operational costs, and might save some of your employees.

If you need help:
DO NOT hire anyone who is in dire need of income free of charge with a promise of a salary “when things get better”.
Millions of people are struggling for income so that they can eat and pay their rents and so much more.
It is an insult and unprofessional if you tell someone to work for you without pay.
Even if your intentions are the best, a promise for future payment does not ensure anyone’s survival during these very hard times.

Modernize, adjust, cut unnecessary costs and always do the best, while being 100% professional and respectful to those you need to hire.

 

Risks when you don’t use Social Media for your Business

Business has changed. Social media is here to solidify your brand, your business and the services you provide.

When posting on any Social Media Site, you have a date and time stamp.
You can prove that a service was offered on time, or that a sale was done, and so much more.
Using Social media for your business has a ton of advantages, one of which is avoiding false complaints or legal threats by anyone.
Use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram and you will see how their tools provide security and proof of your actions toward your customers.
You can choose to use one or all.

So get on with the times, establish your brand and keep posting.

You can thank your teams later, after you realize how much good social media can do to your business.

Don’t be a dinosaur!
Be open to learning, join webinars and understand how important social media is to your business, no matter what kind of business you run.

Are you still stuck in manual operations?

When I see that so many older companies are stuck with their operational procedures, I get sad.
You are wasting man hours for stuff that can and should be automated.
Even your entire filing system can be in electronic files that are saved on an external drive, and printed as needed.
When you have to pay clients, do so via bill pay from your Bank.

You have to open up to change and embrace the help that technology provides.
Your company will be so much more efficient, and your employees will thank you.

You can sign any contract electronically, save it and share it with your clients.
You can accept electronic payments.
You can create reports, save them and share them with your clients or teams electronically.
Absolutely no need to waste man hours, paper, and storage spaces for stuff that can be easily saved electronically by year, and then have subfolders by account, client, employee, and so on.

No matter if you are selling, offering services, or managing properties.
There is absolutely no excuse anymore to waste your time and your team’s and navigate through complicated bookkeeping and file keeping in hard copy format.
Even the IRS accepts electronic payments, and so do your state’s property tax officials.

Start the New Year with open minds and make the leap to the next step.
You might find it difficult to learn or get up to speed, but as soon as you do, you will be very thankful.
You will eliminate the risk of file loss from fires, floods, misplacement, break ins and will save a lot on printing costs.

 

Career and job choices

Happy New Year everyone!

I know how many of us need  income.

BUT, we need to avoid certain risks, and these are:

1. Never accept a position unless it’s 100% in the path of your knowledge and experience.

2. It’s ok to be honest and decline a position, no matter how much you like the job, or admire the business owner.

3. Always be truthful about what you know and what you can do.

4. Do not misrepresent your expertise on Social Media sites like LinkedIn. What prospective employers see, must reflect exactly who you are and what you can offer.