Avoiding Scammers – The Real Risks to Your Small Business.

Our members aren’t just running their businesses they know that to excel in 2025 and beyond you’ve got to learn, grow and train. Here Robyn Banks our Data protection specialist share their take on a training event from Essex Police. they attended in their volunteering role…

As part of my volunteer work, I was recently attended a session given by Essex Police on scammers. Working in the field of Data protection, I am probably more wary than most of being scammed. I am not an expert on this area of Cyber Security and passwords etc – for that you need a conversation with our very own Jayne Meek from Spritzmonkey. however I felt it could be very useful for small businesses, professionals and those tasked with keeping their

Some statistics on who are most likely to be a scammer victim…

I know there are those reading this that love a good statistic! Most victims are over 65  – according to the Police.  I would dispute this as more business and younger people are falling for these scams as they penetrate the business world and get more sophisticated.  In South Essex alone, there are currently 50 people a week reporting fraud as a result of a scam. And we often see INsiders asking us our confidential community if something they’ve received is correct or not. It’s usually a scam, but wow they are getting good at scamming small businesses!

What constitutes a scam? 

Well, there are all sorts! Online there are the AI ones where Mum and Dad are contacted via WhatsApp and supposedly the child is in prison or in serious debt and needs bailing out! Email or phone calls supposedly from HMRC that you are due a refund of some description. Check out how AI can now imitate humans and convince other humans its real!

In business…

I have heard of a “website developer” working through networks, taking payment up front and then coming up with all sorts of excuses not to provide the services.   (On the Insiders we are very careful to only recommend existing members, affiliates or businesses we’ve personally worked with so we know we can verify the service or product you are going to get.)

Royal Mail “sending “ a text or email  – it looks real too! – for you to pay 99p for a parcel using your credit or debit card – before you know it, they have taken thousands from your accounts.

So,what can business owners and professionals do?

1 – be aware – scams are getting more and more complex as technology develops.

It could be stealing your intellectual property or copyright as well as AI using anything you have published on the internet.  I know there are people reading this that swear by AI – all I’m saying is be careful and aware! This is a good conversation to bring to the INsiders as you will get a diverse range of views and knowledge to help you navigate to best practices for yourself, family and business.

2 – Don’t be embarrassed if it happens to you!  Yes, I agree, you may feel a bit of an idiot for falling for a scam – especially in business and its someone you thought you could trust.  BUT the only way we stop these people is to report it !

Be open about it!  Nobody – especially in a network such as this – will think less of you for it.  There may be others in the group that have “suffered” too and would appreciate knowing they are not alone. If its through a network, let the network owner know! They can then “expel” the scammer and the support of the network is not just about when things are going right! – at least, in my book, it shouldn’t be! If you want to work with someone in a Network, really get to know them first – arrange a 1-2-1 and ask around in the group for recommendations. 

(A few recommendations from our Founder Mandie Holgate when choosing someone to work with;

  • Ask to speak to happy customers. If you were thinking of joining the INsiders or buying one of our courses, we would put you in front of by email and or telephone customers that same day. If someone can’t do that, walk away. They must have happy customers right?
  • What guarantees do you get? How is your investment protected? If you don’t benefit in any format from the Insiders (that’s new business, new skills, new trends in business and personal development, training in key areas of business, free PR, promotion, marketing, networking, leads and or confidence building and advice and mentoring on new products, services, opportunities and best practices for business foundations and growth, and support and empowerment) then leave. No minimum sign up time. If you buy a course and do everything it says and don’t benefit we will give you another course for free. We stand by our qualities and results.
  • What results can you expect? We don’t guarantee results because we don’t know you, your team, or your business, we don’t know if you are speed demon on cracks on and makes things happen fast or if you are a small business owner working around family commitments or even a full time job. So how can we guarantee the results. We often recommend just joining the Insiders and letting us learn more about your needs first.
  • Ask Insiders for recommendations. What results were achieved, in what time period at what cost, etc, etc.)

Report it to Action Fraud www.actionfraud.police.uk  They can provide advice. 

If it’s a phishing email, then report it to report@phishing.gov.uk

Identity theft and scamming are both big business in the UK (and indeed the rest of the world).  The only way to reduce this is report it if you fall for something. 

As a business owner you have responsibilities to discuss best practices for your business please do not hesitate to ask us at Adavista. We are straight talking and offer exclusive discounts to Insiders.

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