Scams can cost customers thousands. Unfortunately, sometimes a scammer may use the name of your business and this can cause a lot of problems for you- aside from lost revenue it can damage your reputation. Fortunately, there are ways that you can let your customers know about scams before they happen and help protect them.
- Electronic payments- Your website should offer secure payment protection. It is also important to make clear what you will and won’t ask when you contact a customer as well as inform them about how you handle their data.
- Cash- Customers need to be wary about paying for services in cash. The big problem is that the cash is not traceable. If a company says they can provide a discount if you pay the full amount upfront in cash do not agree to it.
- Cheques- If someone pays you with a cheque you have to be sure it is legitimate. Check with your bank to be sure.
A big problem people have is being conned by people posing as someone from a company. If it is in person then ask a customer to check their ID, checking the company rather than any phone number on their ID (a company will be able to verify whether or not someone genuinely is an employee).
If someone calls on the phone remind customers what questions you will ask (for example a bank should not ask for a PIN number.) Always encourage your customers to check your website and make clear what information you will ask for.
Getting money back
Scammers often work by making people feel embarrassed about being conned. You should be sensitive and patient with your customers, explaining what to do while at the same time encouraging them.
Anyone who has been a victim of a scam should contact you immediately. You should encourage them as you can inform other customers to help them avoid being scammed in the future.
It is also possible to get money back by contacting your bank- Which offers a free template to help write a letter to explain the situation (link available here) If a customer is misled into calling a premium rate phone number Phonepay Plus can ensure you get a refund.
There are a number of other contacts available as well- organisations such as Action Fraud, the Citizens Advice Bureau or Trading Standards. Helping to guide your customers to the appropriate people to talk to will show that you care about them and this means they will be more likely to stick with you as customers.
In a strange way, this situation can be positive- showing that you want to help resolve a problem and help customers get their money back shows that you are loyal to them. Furthermore, cracking down on any scammers posing as your business prevents them stealing your revenue and shows you take this issue seriously.
With the right approach, you can get increased customer loyalty, reduce fraud and even enhance the reputation of your business.
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