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Effective Ways to Avoid the Threat of Invoice Hijacking

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Invoice hijacking is a form of invoice fraud where a scammer will send a fake or doctored invoice to a supplier’s client with the aim of having the payment made to them instead. These scams can look incredibly convincing and result in over $12.5 billion in losses around the world annually. That’s a lot of people getting taken in and losing a huge amount of money.

Let’s take a closer look at this type of fraud and how you can avoid invoice hijacking.

The Most Common Types of Invoice Fraud

A fraudulent invoice is designed to look like an authentic invoice and it aims to ensure that the recipient doesn’t realize that it’s altered—or isn’t meant to exist in the first place. However, there are many ways that a scam artist can go about doing this.

The two most common methods of fraud are:

A Change of Bank Details

This is quite a simple scam. The scam artist sends an email to a stolen database to let those clients know that banking details have been changed and all invoices that are outstanding should be paid into the new account.

With this method of invoice fraud, the scam artist doesn’t even need to have access to the original invoice. All they need is access to the supplier’s list of clients either by hacking their email server or by watching the deliveries they make.

Fake New Suppliers

This one is less invoice hacking and more simply invoice copying. The scam artist creates fake invoices that look like they come from a supplier that the company or individual uses, but is for a service or product that was never bought.

The scam artist then usually puts pressure on the recipient in the form of threatening legal action because the payment is overdue. The idea is that the recipient panics, thinking they’ve somehow missed the invoice, and pays it without asking too many questions.

How to Combat Invoice Hijacking

While it’s almost inevitable that someone will try to hijack your business invoices or send you a fraudulent invoice at some point, there are plenty of ways to mitigate potential problems. It’s all about being alert and putting the right types of communication in place.

1. Always Rely on Human Interaction

Human interaction is your best line of defense against invoice hijacking. If you’re a supplier and you regularly send out invoices, make sure that you keep good lines of communication open with your customers.

On the other hand, if you get invoices sent to you from suppliers, make sure that you double-check with them if anything seems different or odd. A quick phone call to confirm that your supplier has changed their banking details will save everyone a lot of headaches.

If you’re worried about a scam you can verify the information by using contact information not supplied in the email that accompanied the invoice. If you click on the link to the website or call the telephone number in the email you received with the potentially fraudulent invoice, you’ll likely get directed somewhere that the scam artist can control. Rather, refer to a past email and use those contact details instead.

2. Focus on Email Security

This goes for suppliers and clients. Scam artists can hack into an email server and monitor the comings and goings of invoices, making it far easier for them to hijack those invoices and commit fraud. They can also then make the email sending the invoice look completely legitimate when they can access the supplier’s email server.

The best way to combat this is to set up two-factor, or even multi-factor authentication, on all email accounts in your business.

3. Look after New and Once-Off Purchases

The easiest place for a scam artist to commit invoice fraud is in a once-off transaction or with a brand new interaction between a supplier and client. This is because the client is very unlikely to spot a change in banking details or an email address and contact details that might be incorrect. The client will also be loading banking details or making an online credit card payment to an entirely new supplier—whether it’s the correct supplier or the fraudulent one.

It’s so important when paying a new supplier or a once-off client to double-check that the payment details are correct. On the client side, if there is any doubt, take the time to call the supplier using contact details you know to be correct.

4. Automate Your Invoice Management

On the supplier side, this is a great way to prevent invoice hijacking for suppliers. Numerous accounting software programs allow you to generate and send accurate invoices directly from your accounting system to your clients. This eliminates manual processing and reduces the opportunities for scam artists to sneak in and commit fraud. Using the same invoice template also sets a precedent with clients who then know exactly what your billing documentation looks like and are more likely to spot any changes.

There are also plenty of ways that artificial intelligence (AI) or a smart authentication protocol (AP) can be deployed to help combat invoice fraud for suppliers and clients. On the one hand, if you have several suppliers that you receive invoices from regularly, you can use AI to monitor your incoming invoices and look for discrepancies against details you’ve verified. The system will flag any issues before payments can be made.

Using an AP can do something similar and actively filter invoices sent and received, as well as payments made and received. Those with anything suspicious or different about them will be sent to the appropriate people to check the invoice and approve it if all seems right to them. You then have a record of who approved invoices and payments.

Final Thoughts

Invoice hijacking is an ongoing problem and it’s even been described as an epidemic. But if you know what to look for, you have the best chance of preventing it. The more awareness around the topic, the less chance scam artists have of forging or faking invoices and laying claim to funds they didn’t earn in the first place.

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Finance

5 Tips for Maximizing Your Property Rental Income in Miami

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The Miami real estate market offers several opportunities for financial gain, especially in the frame of property rentals.

Whether this is your first rental or you’ve been doing it for a long, knowing how to maximize your investment is critical to maintaining a positive rental experience. Some excellent service providers in Miami, like https://masterhost.ca/airbnb-management-miami/, handle this renting process professionally.

In this post, we’ll examine five clever strategies for maximizing the income from renting out your Miami home so you can continue making cash for a long time.

1. Strategic Pricing Strategies

It’s like strolling a tightrope to figure out how much to charge to rent your property. You should investigate the rental market and be mindful of local Miami events. Your property’s area, kind, and even season may all impact how much you can charge.

Begin by observing the rental costs in your community for comparable properties. Look at the number of vacant spaces and whether people need to rent. This will give you a decent idea of what’s typical there.

Although charging the maximum lease could be enticing, it’s vital to maintain competition. Leasing at a cheaper rate than the competition may draw in more occupants, meaning less time without a rental and more cash in total.

You will also consider adding additional items, such as permitting visitors to remain longer or providing conveniences like a pool or gym. You’ll still make excellent cash doing this and attract new inhabitants to your house.

2. Enhance Property Appeal

Curb appeal plays a noteworthy part in drawing in and holding tenants. If you need to increase the cash you get from leasing your home, investing in the maintenance of its interior and exterior may be wise.

Make sure the structure is painted a modern colour, keep up the landscape, and upgrade any outside highlights like pools or dining places. Miami has many sunny days, so creating a warm, appealing exterior space may attract tenants.

If you want it to seem like a mini heaven, consider including features like a dazzling patio, a barbecue zone, or plenty of tropical plants. In interior design, think about how to form things that seem great and work well.

Painting, decorations, and light installations may all be upgraded to allow your home a more modern, elegant vibe.

Specific care ought to be paid to details, such as the kitchen and washroom, flooring, and lighting, since they may incredibly attract inhabitants and increase their willingness to pay for a place to live.

3. Offer Value-Added Services

It is pivotal to distinguish your property from others in a crowded rental market like Miami. Offering extra services that improve the quality of life is one approach.

Conveniences like cable TV, fast internet, utilities paid for, or access to a fitness centre or swimming pool might attract additional tenants. Also, you may request a higher lease when your property is more engaging, bringing in more income.

Moreover, remember to look after your inhabitants. As soon as something breaks, repair it. Be kind and robust when they have requests or issues. Upbeat inhabitants are more likely to stay, which decreases the time your property is empty and increases income.

4. Optimize Marketing Strategies

There’s furious competition in Miami, so if you need to lease out your property for more money, you’ll have to promote it well. To begin with, post it on rental listing websites and social media platforms, which are prevalent among those seeking a place to live.

Also, showcase your property’s best highlights with well-written descriptions and professionally shot pictures. If your home is near any exciting places, such as travel, schools, or attractions, you ought to highlight it.

Leaseholders might find it more enticing as a result. Also, if you need to draw in extra tenants, you might offer them incentives like lease decreases for extended stays or waived application costs.

5. Implement Efficient Property Management Practices

Guaranteeing that your property is appropriately managed is vital to maximizing rental income and avoiding issues.

You may either utilize specialized software to simplify things or employ professionals to handle it.

Preserving the property and making vital repairs is a great idea to ensure that it retains its value and engaging quality for inhabitants.

Compelling property management incorporates routine inspections, preventative maintenance to dodge significant issues, and prompt resolution of occupant concerns.

To preserve effective monetary operations and prevent issues, be beyond any doubt tolerant of the terms of the rent, including how the lease is collected and when rent renewals are possible; compelling property administration may increase rental income, lower dangers, and increase the value of your Miami real estate.

Conclusion

If you want to lease out your Miami property and maximize your benefits, you need a well-thought-out plan. This plan incorporates pricing your property suitably, maintaining it accurately, adding extra services, promoting it well, and providing excellent management.

Utilizing these recommendations will increase the amount of cash you produce from your home. You will find quality leaseholders and set a reasonable lease.

You’ll succeed in Miami’s competitive rental market if you monitor market patterns and retain satisfied occupants.

With a few mindful arrangements and execution, you can make your property work for you and increase your income in the long run.

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Digital In-Store Engagement: Are You Making the Most of Your Retail Environment?

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Is your store optimized for consumer engagement? Although much of the attention brands are giving to consumer engagement is focused online, 80% of purchase decisions are still made in the physical world. Neglecting in-store engagement is a massive blind spot for brands.

Digital in-store engagement is a powerful tool for unlocking new revenues, generating leads, and collecting data.

#1 Artificial Intelligence

AI avatars are the new frontier of digital engagement. They’re your new concierge, brand ambassador, and in-store assistant. Brands like Levi Strauss & Company are even using AI avatars as fashion models, providing consumers with avatars that look more like them when they shop.

AI avatars can bring personality and customized assistance to digital interactive kiosks. Put a face to your digital in-store presence with an AI avatar.

#2 Self Serve Kiosks

Digital engagement isn’t just about advertising in-store, although it can put the spotlight on your contests and promotions. Self serve kiosks can also drive direct revenues and cut down on labor costs.

Self serve kiosks that enable self-ordering can reduce demands put on staff. While the technology has been explored effectively in the restaurant industry, it’s catching on in retail environments as well.

Not only can they reduce the need for staff at checkout, but they can also be used to facilitate consumers trying on different sizes or models of items, and speed up the checkout process for consumers who are in a hurry.

A self serve kiosk can also give consumers more time to explore contests and promotions. Someone might be quick to withhold their information if they feel pressured by a staff member, but given more time, they might be willing to explore the details on their own.

#3 Bring Your Digital Assets to the Real World

Interactive kiosks can also help you leverage valuable digital investments that you’ve already made into the real world. Your online properties can enliven and enhance your physical retail environments. You can extend your digital assets to the in-store experience and get more out of your investments.

#4 Augmented Reality

With the help of an interactive kiosk, you can make the most of Augmented Reality technology right in-store. Augmented Reality today can fulfill a wide range of possibilities, including:

  • Augmented Reality mirrors that let consumers “try on” clothes, shoes, fashion accessories, etc.
  • Face filters that can show consumers how different cosmetics will look on their faces.
  • Virtual environments that can open up all kinds of possibilities for different interactive experiences.

Tap into the power of AR and elevate your brick-and-mortar environment.

#5 Gamification

Gamification experiences can add an element of fun and the unexpected to your in-store experience. Brands can often work directly with interactive kiosk companies on off-the-shelf gamification experiences or custom, branded games that will surprise and engage consumers on a whole new level.

Gamification experiences are great if you’re planning an in-store activation or throwing a special event.

Your digital assets are valuable, and they don’t have to be siloed online. Bring them to your in-store environments with the help of digital interactive kiosks.

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Business

What Online Marketers Should Know about the March 2024 Google Core Update

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If you market your business online or depend on being on the front page of a search results page, you probably take an interest in SEO. Like every year, Google has issued another core update with far-reaching implications for those who create and market content online.

Here, we’ve gathered the main points you should know about this important update.

Google Loves Helpful Content

The March 2024 core update is an unofficial sequel to their Helpful Content updates from 2022 and 2023. Those updates focused on putting people-first content first instead of rewarding content made to satisfy only the algorithm.

Instead, good content satisfies both. The Helpful Content system introduced a site-wide (and later page-by-page) signal that ranked pages on helpfulness to the user.

This was context-specific, so news sites and reviewers were held to higher standards. Many businesses are hosted online, best seen in the iGaming industry where digital slots or live game rooms are contained on-site.

When someone searches for online roulette at Paddy’s, the right site will appear at the top of the results page without fail. For primarily written content, however, it can get trickier. There’s no guarantee that written content is genuinely helpful to the users reading them, or if a writer has the expertise to back it up.

Update Site Content to Follow E-E-A-T

Once the update rolled out, a lot of websites took a hit to their SEO profile. While this included Google’s intended targets, legitimate sites, and businesses also had some trouble. This is nothing new for SEO experts who have been around for a while.

The same watchwords apply when it comes to surviving this update – adapt to the changing guidelines and remember that quality trumps quantity.

If your business has had any SEO issues, you should take a look at pre-existing content with E-E-A-T in mind. Unfortunately, outdated content or content with errors may be flagged as untrustworthy, even if that wasn’t your intention.

While Google has shown leniency toward some AI uses, they are very sensitive to out-of-date information gathered by large language models (LLMs).

If you aren’t aware of what LLMs are and how they make generative AI possible, leading AI researchers at IBM have explained here. If your non-AI page has errors or any update concerns, it could see diminished performance.

Since 2014, SEO experts have long known that Google ranks content with E-A-T – Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. That changed in December of 2022 when they added Experience to the front of this very important acronym. This is to help nudge content where reviewers and other sources have verifiable experience to the top of the result page.

Spam Policies Have Been Updated

Google likes to launch other updates or policy changes alongside their core updates, to put forward consistent advice. This time, Google has re-tooled spam policies to strengthen their methods of rooting out low-quality or repetitive content. E-E-A-T helps with that a lot, but they’ve made other changes, too.

Since spam can be subjective and context-specific, Google has explained that human actions play a larger role when analyzing sites for spam. This update targets three main practices – making low-quality automated content at scale, leveraging expired domains to boost low-quality content, and seeding low-quality content in a reputable site.

In theory, ensuring content is high quality and original will avoid most issues online businesses could face.

After every Google core update, it takes some time to fully assess how the SEO field has changed. In the future, there will be more insights surrounding this update. In the meantime, adhering to E-E-A-T as strictly as possible seems to be a winning strategy for the future Google has planned for its search engine.

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