This Week In Business News: Utilities Scams, Cybersecurity Threats, and the Online Sales Tax

As if small business owners didn’t have enough to worry about in their day-to-day lives, this week brings us a few more points of concern. In Baltimore, fraudsters are impersonating the Baltimore Gas & Electric Company to scam business owners out of cash, data security threats are at an all time high, and the online sales tax is back and trying to piggyback its way into law. Here’s what’s happening this week.

BGE Call Scam Targets Small Business Owners

In Baltimore, there seems to be a growing epidemic of fake calls coming from Baltimore Gas & Electric Company impersonators going out to small business owners. The calls suggest that their bills are past due, despite what the BGE website says. The callers then threaten to kill power in a short period of time (i.g. in the next 38 minutes) unless they pay with a Green Dot prepaid Visa. Watch out for this scam to spread to other cities and states relatively quickly. Read more on WBALTV.com.

Cyber Security Growing Problem for Small Business

Small business has increasingly become a favorite target for data theft. According to National Small Business Association numbers, small businesses victimized at least once by some kind of computer crime has reached at least 44 per cent, costing an average of almost $9,000 to correct each time. It’s generally the result of too much access and not enough knowledge, but there is something you can do about it. Read more on AZCentral.

Online Sales Tax is Back — and This Time, It Might Actually Have a Shot at Passing

Depending on where you stand in the realm of business practice, you may be for or against the online sales tax. It’s been a heated subject for business ever since the idea was first introduced, then passed by Senate. One side says it levels the playing field, while the other says it creates an uneven nightmare of a process. Both sides, however, may get the opportunity to find out if they were right, as the act may be piggybacked to another, more easily agreed upon act. Read more on the Washington Post.

That’s it for this week. Leave your thoughts on this week’s news in the comments below, and come back next week to catch up on more business news!

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.