While the internet has made it easier than ever to do business, it’s also made businesses more susceptible to scams and fraud. Here are some tips for staying safe.

As a business owner, that means you need to take steps to protect your business from fraud and scams, both internal and external. While the task might seem impossible, there are some simple steps you can take to help safeguard your screen printing business from losing money due to fraud, theft and scams.

1. Check your employees’ backgrounds

Unfortunately, a lot of fraud happens in-house. A simple background check can save you from big problems down the road. To guard against dishonest employees who may have had criminal problems in the past or been dismissed from previous jobs for questionable behavior, take the time to perform background checks and call references before you hire new employees.

Want some more tips on hiring the right employees at your screen printing shop? Read our blog: Traits to Look for When Hiring New Employees

2. Monitor your finances and inventory

Another way to protect your screen printing business from internal theft is by ensuring that your finances and inventory are well tracked. The financial accounting should never be left to one person, and you should perform audits and inventory checks regularly so you stay on top of any inconsistencies in your books.

3. Have an employee code of conduct

A clear code of conduct can help employees know what’s expected of them and clear up any gray areas that could cost you money or put you in an ethically questionable position. Outlining your expectations regarding bribes, employee use of company equipment and supplies, as well as discouraging things like deceptive sales practices and falsifying documents, lets your employees know that you’re on the lookout for fraud, scams and questionable behavior that could cost your business money.

4. Check every invoice

There are dishonest vendors out there, or even scammers who will send invoice documents hoping your business will pay them without reviewing them. Make sure someone is responsible for reviewing all invoices before they are paid. You should ensure that the invoice is from a vendor you’ve done business with, that it’s for the agreed-upon price and that there aren’t any charges on the invoice that don’t match the products received or services provided.

5. Know the common signs of external fraud

While scammers are constantly coming up with new ploys, there are some common techniques used by perpetrators of external fraud; that is, fraud that’s committed by someone who isn’t related to your business. Customers might claim that they never received orders you shipped, even when tracking information shows that the order was delivered; someone with stolen credit card information might place multiple orders to the same shipping address; you might receive an unusually large order, or an order for a lot of blank t-shirts. A sudden burst in online order volume can be a red flag to review all of your transactions. These sorts of fraudulent transactions can cost your business a lot of money. Make sure you review orders and take the time to investigate suspicious ones. You can even use software designed to identify potentially fraudulent transactions.

6. Protect your computers

Don’t let your business be open to fraud or scams over the internet. Make sure you have the right software in place to protect your computer system from attacks or hackers, and make sure your system is password protected.

It might be impossible to protect your business 100 percent from fraud and scams, but you can significantly decrease your risk by being proactive to guard against those who might take advantage of your business. Be vigilant in taking measures to safeguard your screen printing business from fraud and scams, and make sure that all of your employees are trained to spot potential scams and that they’re taking measures to protect your business, too.

Looking for some more ways to keep your screen printing business safe? Check out this blog post:

Protect Your Screen Printing Business with Insurance