Fraud growing problem for small business - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Fraud growing problem for small business

November 15, 2007

Albany -- Surveys show that 84 percent of small business owners are concerned about fraud in their business finances. The National Small Business Association has declared this fraud awareness week, to educate business owners how to prevent criminal identity theft and fraud.

David Hays says opening his second Hays Pharmacy location on Gillionville Road has required a large investment in his small business, and he has to be concerned about being targeted by criminals through fraud.  Hays said "we've lost as much as thirty thousand dollars a year in fraud from bad checks and other fraud issues, in my business. And that's pretty normal."

Online identity theft, check and credit card fraud, forgery. A survey of small business owner found that eight out of ten believe their business will face increased risk from fraud in the next year. Bank officials agree. SunTrust Group Vice President Joseph Vanden Bosch said "the average loss can be up to one hundred thousand dollars, and to a small business that is a considerable amount of money."

Seeing that problem, SunTrust along with the National Small Business Association has come up with a new online fraud protection program to protect their small business customers.  Vanden Bosch said "fraud inspector, online empower small business owners to view their transactions on a daily basis."

Hays says small business owners like him need all the help they can get to fight criminals who would defraud him, just as he expands his business, creating more jobs and economic development.  Hays said "so we definitely don't need fraud coming in here and stealing what few dollars of profit we have now."

Analysts say fraud will touch two thirds of the small businesses in the South this year, and that is why owners need to keep a close eye on their business finances daily.

 It's estimated that two thirds of all new jobs in the United States will be created by small businesses.

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