Scammers "Hijack" Business Names For Use in Cons

October 29, 2013

Businesses are reporting that scammers are "hijacking" their names, using them for everything from fraudulent credit card purchases to scam websites. Don't let your company become a victim of this growing trend.

How the Scam in Action:

A supplier receives an order for a large purchase from an unknown company. To be cautious, the supplier decides to verify the order, and he calls the business listed on the request. When the business' owner answers, he's shocked. He claims no one in his office placed that order. He has no idea why his name and logo are on the purchase form.

It turns out, the order was a fake! Scammers had "hijacked" the business' name. The business owner soon learned that several other orders had been placed using his company's name, and the purchased supplies were being shipped to a storage facility in another city. The business owner alerted the police, and they are currently investigating.

Another Version of Hijacking:

Another common way scammers hijack business names is with scam websites. Scammers use a business' URL and existing site to lend credibility to their schemes. Scammers sometimes hack into websites and put up fake web forms meant to capture credit card numbers and other personal information. Other times, they upload malware to the site in order to infect visitors' computers. They've also been known to redirect web traffic to other sites selling counterfeit goods.

Signs That Your Business' Name Has Been Hijacked:

It's difficult to detect if your name has been hijacked, but periodically search for your business on the Internet. Look for any sites or activity using your name that have not been created by you. Here are other signs to watch out for:

  • You receive a request to verify orders you didn't place
  • You receive calls from someone trying to verify an address for your business that is not associated with your company
  • You receive invoices for storage or shipping services that you didn't place.



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This Scam Alert has been sponsored by Western Union.