Be Cautious of Phishing Scams
Today’s society is technology based. Everything can be at the palm of your hand and accessed online. Emails, online registrations, and even online banking have made our lives easier. While there are perks to everything being online, there are also some unfavorable things about it. Scammers can get involved and try to reel you in to what is called phishing, which can be a major loss for a small business.
Webster’s Dictionary defines phishing as a scam by which an Internet user is duped into revealing personal or confidential information such as passwords and credit card numbers, which the scammer can use illicitly. Typically this is done by sending a fraudulent email that looks as if it is from a legitimate organization, but contains a link to a fake website that replicates the real one.
On a similar note, we at the Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center (APAC) get several calls from concerned clients saying that they received a text, call, or several emails trying to convince them that their SAM (System for Award Management) account has expired, or that they need to pay a fee to “expedite” the process of obtaining their DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number.
They make it seem so urgent and believable that many businesses end up paying for this third party service- hundreds of dollars. Our clients find out they have been scammed after they have already paid the nonrefundable fee to this third party company.
Here at APAC, we can help you with your SAM account registration or renewal and obtain your DUNS number for FREE. We can also show you which websites to use and which to avoid. It is important to remember that most government websites that we use end in .gov or .mil. The Dun & Bradstreet website is the only one that ends in .com, but it is still free for the user who is working on a grant or contract for/with the federal government.
If you are being asked for money or receive a text message, it is most likely a phishing scam. Government entities will never text you, and remember, APAC offers our services for free!