Category: Risk

CRAIGSLIST SCAM ALERT!

I feel compelled to share this for EVERYONE to know!
There was a knock on my door and two very polite young ladies asked me for the keys to their new apartment.
I was taken aback because we have no rental units available.
Trying to figure out what happened, and very thankful that I know about fraud and scams, I asked them the following questions:

  1. Where did you find the listing? – “On Craigslist”
  2. Who did you make the payment to? – “Ummm we don’t know the name”
  3. Call the person right now. – “Hello? What is your name please? Click….” They hang up on them.
  4. What did the listing say? – “Send us the deposit now and when we also receive your first rent, we will mail you the keys!”

I was really surprised that young people who are daily on the internet and Social Media have absolutely no clue.

So I asked a few more questions:

  1. Who would ever rent a place without seeing it first, and without meeting the landlord in person?
  2. Who would blindly send any payment to any so called landlord just in good faith?
  3. Did you use your credit card or Bank Account?

They used their Bank account which is now at risk of being attacked and emptied by fraudsters!

I advised them to go immediately to their Bank and file a claim and also to NEVER EVER rent, buy, or do anything on Craigslist or any other selling site.
Also explained and gave them names of legal Rental websites.

BE VERY VERY CAREFUL!

DO NOT TRUST ANYONE WHO ASKS FOR MONEY BEFORE THEY GIVE YOU A SIGNED LEASE.

DO NOT TRANSACT IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM UNLESS YOU EITHER MEET SOMEONE IN PERSON, OR PURCHASE FROM A VERIFIED SOURCE!

Time to Rethink Marketing

Marketing

We are in a new era. We are all trying to succeed, spread our message, sell our services and products.

It’s time to start rethinking how we approach marketing.
Snail mail, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Emails, Instagram and the list goes on.

There are companies that are starting to engage in a more respectful and less invasive way, which allows them success.
Who doesn’t receive at least 30 emails daily that sell something? A ton of emojis, exclamation points, proclamations and promises.

Who doesn’t open their mailbox to find coupons, catalogs, and envelopes with offers?
All this goes straight to the recycling bins unopened and unread.

1. We are wasting trees, paper and are inundating the recycling industry.

2. Prospective customers are closing their eyes and ears, because their space is invaded 24/7

3. You can’t scroll down your Facebook or Instagram account without seeing ads.

 

So let’s rethink all that and implement some much needed innovation. Some ideas I have been thinking of are:

  1. Act professionally. Too many claims that can be debated are not a good way to approach customers. Imagine someone you have never seen before in your life, to come straight to your face and start hugging you and pushing you around. How would you feel? This is EXACTLY what I am trying to convey here.
  2. Be 100% honest about what it is you are trying to sell!
  3. Rethink your written message. One approach. EMAIL header: ABCD product/service we would appreciate your time to read this email. Email Body: Dear …., I/we are offering XYZ product/service and have been successful in 1,2,3. Would you be interested in finding out more? If yes please reply to this email. If not, we will respect your decision and not bother you again.

We have jumped in a war to be first, to make more, more, more…… Let’s take a step back and think!
Isn’t any brand’s or Company’s trustworthiness more important?
Once you establish your name in a respectful way, you can only succeed!

 

Forget Intimidation Go Toward Success

Any day a client says “WOW this was easier than I thought and I can’t thank you enough”, I know I have done something right.

I think of what I offer as the Robin Hood of small businesses and also the consumer who is so perplexed with operations, scams, fraud etc.

My clients are super happy, because all the trendy so called coaches/consultants have a different target and go for the big earnings.
So I decided to be the advocate of the small guy, (hair stylists, landscapers, plumbers, electricians and the list goes on), because EVERYONE forgets these people exist as businesses, are trying to survive and attract customers, but don’t have the technical knowledge to spread their message, or do their own bookings and bookkeeping.

Today was a good day. One of my clients, a great local electrician sat with me for literally 15 minutes, we created his invoice template, his booking calendar and his price-list. When we were done, I saw a gleam in his eyes, and a huge smile. This is worth all the time and effort.

Helping others with what we perceive as common knowledge without making them feel as they have no clue, is our mission.

Everyone has their talents. I could never do electric work. This doesn’t make me feel dumb or less than.
I help talented people by adding my talents to theirs and making them successful by feeling great about what they do and how they do it.

Here for anyone who needs help. Success in numbers. It takes a village!

Complacency is your decline

Today’s business world is driven by competition, innovation, sales and marketing.

It is really bizarre that companies out there still communicate with their customers by mailing letters and expecting customers to reply via another letter.
Nobody will do this anymore. Write a reply to your request on a letter, then spend time and money to drive to the Post Office and mail you a response?

Your brand will decline faster than you think.

Unless you adjust your business model to what the market requires today, you might as well close your doors.

20-30 years ago, this was how businesses were ran. NOT TODAY!

Respect that there is a huge consumer piece of the pie that wants and demands convenience, fast service, modern practices.

If you want to keep existing and thriving, don;t be complacent.

  1. Update your websites
  2. Accept Emails
  3. Accept communication via your website
  4. Stop demanding customers to send you a “FAX” or actually mail you a letter. Not happening anymore.
  5. Learn from what the market is doing around you.
  6. Modernize the way you operate

You will be amazed that modernizing your brand will actually reduce your overhead and bring you new business.

Adapt, keep an open mind, learn and protect your brand from unnecessary risk that comes from complacency!

Your Competition will not wait!

Educate yourself to train your employees

You are a business owner and this is great!
There are a few rules to this game though. You cannot demand excellence from your employees, if you don’t educate yourself about the business you own.

Example that happened:
Local coffee shop.
A phone order is placed for 2 sandwiches.
15 minutes later customer arrives to pick up the order.
Order is not ready, employee starts the order.
Using bare hands without gloves to touch food. Big NO NO.
Bending over the counter to pick up mustard and other condiments, and her t-shirt and belly touch the meal being prepared.
Customer mentions it. The reply: Oh my t-shirt is clean.
Management nowhere around.

How would you feel if this happened to you?
Each business is different.
So do yourself a huge favor and learn about the rules of your specific business.
Then, sit and train your employees properly, so that obvious faux pas never happen.
This is what Business Consultants do. Teach you how to run your business properly.
Never Risk your reputation or business by thinking that you know everything.

 

Small Business & Success

You are a small business owner and want to make a difference in your community.
You want to attract and retain clients.
Here are the top WHY, WHAT and HOW questions to ask yourself:
WHY did I choose the specific business? Does it represent who I am and what I really want to do?
WHY should customers prefer my services?
WHY can’t I get more clients?
WHAT could I implement to be a better local business?
WHAT do customers think about my services?
WHAT tools do I need to succeed?
HOW am I different than my competition?
HOW can I retain satisfied customers?
HOW can I get above the competition?
HOW can I get better and be more efficient?
Once you answer all those questions honestly, you will have your plan.
Know that you cannot do everything alone. Hire some help to fine-tune your business model.

Force Authorization Scam

From the Santa Barbara Police Department

Information Bulletin
Santa Barbara, CA – 08/21/19
Force Authorization Scam
An authorization code is an alphanumeric password that authorizes a purchase. A force authorization may be required for times when a merchant’s payment terminal cannot connect to the network or the amount of the sale is above a predetermined amount. The authorization code allows a merchant to bypass the process by manually entering a previously obtained authorization code.
Recently, two Santa Barbara downtown businesses fell victim to a credit card authorization fraud scheme. Based on the recent events, we would like to inform businesses of the scheme presented and ways in which to defend your business from such incidents.
Common scams include both over the phone and in person transactions.
Example 1: The suspect/customer enters the store and attempts to make an expensive purchase. When their credit card is denied, he or she will likely pretend to be upset and act as if he or she is contacting the bank. The suspect(s) will hand you their personal phone and have you speak with the (fake) bank representative, who will provide you a force authorization code. A later chargeback will result and the merchant will be at a loss.
Example 2: The suspect/customer will arrange for a transaction and provide the credit card number and an alias. The customer will provide the authorization code once the card declines to force the fraudulent transaction through. A rapport is usually generated prior to the actual transaction to cause the employee to further believe the transaction is legitimate.
Best Practices:
* Never enter an authorization code given by a cardholder to force a transaction. Always contact the cardholder’s issuing bank yourself to obtain the valid code.
*  Ask for identification, especially for expensive transactions made over the phone to verify the identity of the caller. This can be sent to you (the merchant) via fax, email, or text.
* Do not hand your payment terminal to the customer as the customer may enter the fraudulent authorization code themselves without your knowledge.

Social Media Posting: Can You Overdo it?

Doing too much social media posting (posting too often, displaying the wrong things, or being present on the wrong social channels) can harm your strategy.
Why is This Happening?
Social media users understand the purpose of advertising, so they tolerate it. However, they don’t always recognize the content presented to them in their news feeds as being promotional.
People follow brands on social media because they offer engaging, exciting, and valuable content. Once they start seeing too much unoriginal and repetitive content, they realize that they are simply targets for advertising. They become frustrated and irritated because the brand they’re following isn’t creating anything innovative or new.
Read the Full article here
You can only hurt your efforts by posting daily, let alone multiple times daily! You are destroying your brand! When your audience gets sick and tired by the same message, you have lost the war before even starting the battle!
RESPECT your potential buyers!