Own a small business or work for one? Watch out for this con that’s targeting businesses by posing as the “American Chamber of Commerce.”
How the Scam Works
Your business gets a call from someone claiming to represent the American Chamber of Commerce. The caller asks for an employee (current or former) by name and claims to be updating your company’s listing in its directory. They ask to verify basic business information, such as address, business name, main contacts, and phone numbers.
This may seem harmless, but it’s a phishing con. There is no American Chamber of Commerce. Con artists hope that business owners confuse the “American Chamber” with the real “U.S. Chamber of Commerce” and share information. Scammers can use this information to commit ID theft or target the business with other scams, such as phony invoices.
Tips to avoid a directory scam:
Hang up. Don’t confirm information from unknown callers. This just gives the scammers something to use against you.
Call again. If you want to confirm that the call was a fraud, reach out to the real organization through a phone number you find on their website or another reliable source.
Don’t believe what you see. Scammers are great at mimicking phone numbers, official seals, fonts, and other details. Just because it looks like it’s from a legitimate company, does not mean it is.
Train staff. Make sure that the people processing invoices or answering phone calls are aware of these scams.
Create a process for inspecting invoices. Always check that goods or services were both ordered and delivered before paying an invoice. Designate a small group of employees with authority to approve purchases and pay bills.
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