According to the report, scams weaken the business opportunities of SMEs in many ways, but the effects of scams extend more widely to society as a whole. Scams can be prevented, for example, by improving SMEs’ business know-how. Opportunities for combating scams by means of legislation should also be put to more efficient use.
The scams most commonly encountered by SMEs relate to directory services, fake or forged invoices, and tax refunds. In addition to direct financial losses, investigating scams costs SMEs time and money that could be used to develop their business. Moreover, scams affect the well-being of entrepreneurs and staff.
Businesses that have been the victim of a scam strive to recover their losses by raising prices, which forces consumers to pay more for their goods and services. Investigating scams burdens authorities’ resources that could otherwise be used to provide services for businesses and consumers. Ultimately, scams weaken businesses’ and consumers’ trust in honest businesses.