How to Report a Scam

How do you report a scam? Before I begin, let me put on my “other hat” on here for a second. I deal with personal power and empowering people and existence in their businesses. I love this topic because I see so often people immediately want to jump to calling something a fraud or a scam. A lot of times, it’s simply a mater of it didn’t work out like they wanted. What we’re discovering is that it is often avoidable.

Especially if you do your due diligence.

And on top of that, we see so much miscommunication. Folks, we’ll be honest. We have been business owners for a while now. We get it. There is a lot going on. There are parts of your business that you’re not sure how to do, so you look for another business to outsource it or bring on as a consultant to guide you or something goes on there. We get excited about the idea of having somebody address this gaping hole, this abyss in our business that we have been ignoring because we didn’t know how to deal with it. So we skip some steps.

Those steps that are often skipped are asking the questions you need to know. What happens is we engage with somebody based off an assumption, and then because we didn’t do our due diligence or we didn’t ask the hard questions or something is not met based off the assumption that we had, it’s very easy for somebody to jump to: Well, this must be a scam.

We have had situations where somebody has come to us because we are the confessional. We hear all the horror stories. People will pull us to the side and say something about someone that they hired and insist that this person’s a scamster. They are fraudulent, they have ill intent, and they are ripping people off. Then the next person will come and tell us about that person and have rave reviews.

That leads us to believe that there are times where it’s just simple miscommunication or questions weren’t asked. Maybe the person didn’t have enough information before engaging that business or that person. Maybe the service provider wasn’t clear on the deliverables. The whole situation gets super ugly when due diligence isn’t done.

If you’re a service provider, if you own your own business, it is a bad idea to take on a client if they haven’t done their due diligence, if they’re not clear on what they’re purchasing, because there is a good chance they won’t be content or they’re not buying what they think they’re buying, and then your business will suffer.

As a service provider, you need to be doing your own due diligence on your clients. You should want your clients to be asking you the hard questions. Whenever we see that in our business, we go, “Awesome. This is going to be a smooth transaction. This will be a win-win, and it won’t be a nightmare.”

You’ll spend less of your time navigating that relationship versus really doing what you’re there to do. Plain and simple, folks. The very first thing you need to think about when possibly thinking about reporting a scam is you have to determine whether or not it’s an actual scam or take some ownership if there was some miscommunication.

Once you’ve done that, if you have identified that it was a miscommunication, the next step is to literally address the issue. From that place, judge how the business owner handles that miscommunication.

If you think you’re not getting your deliverables, if you think they are not holding up their end of the bargain, rather than blaming, take ownership and say, “My understanding was this. Was I off base? What happened here?” Of course, we’re being overly general because we can’t address every single situation. But it’s going to really do you a wonder of benefits. It’s so much better for you as the business owner to hit these things head-on than immediately reporting it, immediately wanting to turn someone in, immediately wanting to give someone a bad mark when it’s possible that part of that responsibility was on you.

If during that process you discover or realize, “This isn’t going anywhere. It’s definitely looking like it’s a scam,” and you have tried to address it with the person you have gotten involved with, now you might want to report it as a scam.

There are all kinds of ways you can do that. We have some resources on our website Clearbusinessdirectory.com. But there are so many others. There is a great website called consumerfraudreporting.org. The Federal Trade Commission has an online tool.

If it’s involving something from another state or international, you can go to the FBI’s site. They have a place where you can report frauds and scams to them. There is an Internet Fraud Complaint Center that people can go to..

Think, folks, think. The last thing you want to do as a business owner is get a reputation of blaming and pointing fingers. It creates a horrible business culture, and it is also not fair to the other business owners. Put yourself in their position. If it was a miscommunication, take ownership of that. There is always a way to mitigate a situation and to have communication and to make sure that in the future, you do some due diligence.

 

2016-12-19T12:53:43+00:00

About the Author:

Justin Recla has over 13 years experience and advanced training with the US Army and federal government. He is a subject matter expert in tactical questioning, surveillance, counter espionage, threat and vulnerability assessments, and investigative techniques. He is an educator in concepts of effective communication and has taught hundreds of future federal agents how to conduct interviews and investigations. Justin brings his skills from the military sector and delivers them to the boardroom to help business owners protect their two most valuable assets: Time & Money.