Sometimes a business needs to offload a client because they’re not a good fit. Sometimes, however, it’s because your client is about as trustworthy as a three-dollar bill.
You might suspect your client is giving false information, committing credit card fraud, or attempting to avoid paying altogether. If your product or service requires certain credentials from the client, you can bet that some clients will at least think about falsifying them. If you lease expensive products, you’d better make sure you can trust your customers.
Most people are honest, decent people, but now and then …
How do you know who your clients are, what, and where they stay? Here are some software solutions to help protect you and your business from those rare untrustworthy consumers.
Perform A Reverse Lookup With PhoneHistory
PhoneHistory can help you find out more about your clients. Look the phone number they gave you up on the site. The site will return a bunch of information about them.
As the name suggests, PhoneHistory will provide your client’s phone history, telling you how long they’ve had that number and who their carrier is. It will also give you names and locations, among other useful information.
This reverse lookup site boasts a database of more than 500 million cell and landline numbers. If you want to uncover or verify someone’s name, this searchable directory can help you be your own private detective.
Get The Lowdown With Nuwber
Visit Nuwber to verify any information you’re unsure about. Suppose a client has given you their contact details, but you feel that something’s off. You can put their details into this people search site to verify their name, address, profession, and other useful information.
The best things about Nuwber are its ease of use and massive database of US citizens. You’ll have a good chance of finding the information you need during one visit.
Find Them On Facebook & Other Social Media Platforms
Facebook is great for checking people out. It may feel like spying. But note that many employers use Facebook to weed out inappropriate candidates.
You can use Facebook to check a date of birth and contact details, although people can easily hide or falsify these. Where Facebook comes into its own, however, is with the profile picture and history.
You can quickly find out if someone exists by matching the person you met with their profile photo on Facebook. Be wary of people who are always alone in their photos. Most people on Facebook end up being tagged in group photos or appearing with friends or family, which helps verify that they are not assuming a fake persona.
If the profile was created recently, this is a sign that the person may be a fake. Also, check out the individual’s friends and contacts; you can normally get a feel for whether a person’s Facebook contacts are real friends and associates by their interactions with each other. If all the messages say something like “thanks for adding me!” or “who are you?” you may be looking at a bogus profile.
You can also use Facebook to glean information about a person by checking their posts. You may get a heads-up regarding particularly strong or strange views that set off alarm bells for your safety and the security of your business.
Get More Detail From Google
Searching for someone’s name on Google often takes you to their Facebook page or another social media platform. Keep scrolling.
Before long, you are likely to learn about the person’s professional life, a good way to verify their information and character. You might get some details of a club in which they are active, and there may be photos.
If the person you are looking for is a scammer or otherwise disreputable, this may also come up on Google. If they were in the local news, they’ve exploded on social media, or someone has complained about them, Google may connect you to the information you need so that you can decide on how to proceed.
Arm Yourself With Anti-Virus Software
Ensure that your business has up-to-date anti-virus software installed. If a client sends you malware, deliberately or otherwise, you could lose data.
Viruses may cause device failure or data loss. Malware can allow unscrupulous people to encrypt your data and subsequently demand money to restore it. And spyware can enable others to access your network and view confidential data, which they can use for blackmail or identity theft.
Keeping out clients you are suspicious about protects your loyal clients and your business partners. If your network is vulnerable, you put everyone who works with you at risk.
If you think you’re not a target, know that hackers target small businesses because they tend to have:
- the impression that they are not worthwhile targets
- poorly maintained security systems
- software vulnerabilities
- access to larger, more attractive business partners
Fend Off Suspicious Activity With A Firewall
A firewall monitors everything attempting to enter or exit a network. If someone is trying to steal data, your firewall will monitor this. It will alert you to suspicious activity. If the activity takes place unnoticed, you should still be able to look at the firewall’s security logs to track down when it happened and get some idea about who was involved.
Most computers come with firewall services pre-installed. As with antivirus software, it’s wise for business owners to invest in professional-level protection. Your business, your partners, and your clients are worth it.
It’s not only businesses that need to be vetted. Suspicious clients are out there, too. Something doesn’t need to be off-the-wall suspicious for you to protect your business. Checking clients’ details using these software solutions is an excellent idea to help keep your business safe.
Instincts are good, but you might want evidence on your side when it comes to potentially losing money or confronting a client. These software solutions can help keep your business safe by helping you weed out the few untrustworthy clients so that you can focus your energy on delivering excellent products and services to the rest.