3 Common Scams to Watch Out For

As if you didn’t have enough things to juggle as a business owner, the threat of falling prey to a scam is another thing to be aware of. Here are 3 of the most common scams we see impact small firms.

1. Image Licensing

A common scam that hits small firm owners is when someone fills out a contact form on the firm’s website and adamantly claims that your website has stolen images they created without proper licensing. Even more, they have already filed a lawsuit against you and are demanding payment for damages.

An easy way to find out if you actually did this is to ask your web developer or marketing vendor about the accusation. They should be able to provide you with documented proof that the images and graphics on your website were properly obtained.

Also, it seems quite strange that the first point of contact from someone filing suit against you would come from your website contact form rather than a cease and desist or some other sort of formal legal document.

2. Fake Documents/Invoicing

Have you ever received an email from someone with a PDF attachment, possibly from DocuSign or another reputable application? Maybe they’re asking for your signature, to pay an invoice, or asking you to review something. The actual bodies of these emails are usually blank with no instructions whatsoever. There’s usually a short subject line asking for payment or review and then a link or attachment you need to click on.

If it isn’t someone you’ve been actively working with, this is a scam! And if you click that link or download that attachment, you’ve likely immediately downloaded some sort of virus or malware onto your system that allows hackers access to your data.

Always be careful when reviewing links or attachments. Trust your instincts.

3. Directory Listings

Being listed on directories can be a great way to boost your visibility and land on page 1 of Google searches if your competition for that real estate is stiff. Directories like Justia or SuperLawyers can be great supplemental marketing tools. However, there are also scam directories out there.

You may be contacted by someone letting you know that they would like to “honor” and “recognize” you with a premium listing on a local directory. They promise a ton of exposure, but you just need to pay a certain amount (usually a couple of thousand dollars or more) for the placement. These are not legitimate, and you should definitely ignore them.

Do your research on the legitimacy of the directory before you invest so you’re not losing precious revenue.

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is a content marketing and branding firm for lawyers and other professionals. Our goal is to help you create an online presence that positions you as a credible expert in your field, keeps you connected with your network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find you!