Unfortunately, it happens. In my career and my business, I’ve had a couple of times when my clients have been approached by fake businesses or businesses that are not what they claim to be that are attempting to get money. It’s come in two different forms I’ve seen. One is a completely fake business offering a fake product or service, looking to make money. In one particular case, it was a very large transaction being offered to my client. What the faker was trying to do was to get some early fees and process money paid by my client. They were focusing on a huge transaction and the fraud was to get them to make some early payments for small dollar amounts that the would-be fraudster would keep.
In another case, we’ve seen people who don’t have the business or can’t deliver the business they claim to be able to deliver that are wasting our client’s time and energy. In either case, you don’t want to be on the other side of this. You want to make sure that if you’re dealing with a fake, you learn as soon as possible. How do you do that? Usually, the devil is in the details. In the times we’ve had this happen, we’ve often found that the websites didn’t match what they claimed. Some of the negotiating points that the other side was asking for didn’t make sense, that some of the focus points as far as what the other side was working on were not correct, and sometimes they just couldn’t back things up when they talk.
The important thing is that you keep listening the entire time you’re working with the other party. What are they saying? What are they doing? Is it making business sense or are they stretching? Your team and advisers can help you here as well. Get multiple points of view. Really vet the other person. Make sure you’re involved in a real deal. It’s unfortunate to have to walk away from a deal and you may incur some professional fees, but it’s much cheaper to find out during the process that you found a fake than to find out after you’ve sent your money. Be careful out there.
Have you ever had somebody approach you with a fake deal? What would you do differently? How would you protect yourself?
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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/photographer melissa ricquler.
About the Author
R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 418-0258.