Small Business Crimes and Scams - Free Enterprise
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Federal prosecutors served Chipotle with a subpoena as part of a criminal investigation into the restaurant's involvement in norovirus outbreak last year. The Department of Justice and the Food and Drug Administration opened the investigation after E. coli outbreaks sickened hundreds of Chipotle customers.

Chipotle's in-store sales and share prices have been plummeting since multiple norovirus outbreaks occurred last fall in California, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington.

DOJ Indicts Man Who Manipulated US Markets With False Tweets

The Department of Justice indicted a Scottish man who manipulated financial markets by tweeting false company information that impacted stock prices. The man acted on the false info to make trades but did not make much because he waited to long to sell his stock, reports Ars Technica.

The Scottish man, James Alan Craig, 62, did not make much on the scheme, authorities say. He did, however, undermine confidence in American markets. He also did manage to move the markets based on false info he tweeted from two fake market research firm accounts he created on the social network Twitter.

Consider TargetJP MorganSony, and Anthem Blue Cross. If these corporations can get hacked, so can your small business. So what can you do about it?

Obviously, prevention is key. But more and more businesses are also looking at post-hacking relief and finding it in the form of cybersecurity insurance. So is it time for your small business to get a cybersecurity insurance policy?

White Collar Crime Checklist: 3 Tips to Prevent Fraud in Your Office

The white collar is mostly gone. But economic crime is still going strong. Bribery, extortion, embezzlement, fraud, and tax evasion are all alive and well as white collar crimes.

These are serious offenses that do much damage to victims and society in general. Yet, they get less press than classic violent offenses. It's important to understand how financial fraud can be more harmful to your business.

In Europe, merchants abandoned magnetic credit card swiping machines long ago, in favor of cards with embedded computer chips. Thus far, American stores and shops have lagged behind.

But that's all about to change. Starting today, retailers who don't install microchip card readers could be on the hook for any fraudulent charges on old magnetic swipe machines. So what does your small business need to do to catch up with this new technology?

I'm sure there are a million things you'd like to do to a shoplifter in your store. That's your merchandise (and hard earned revenue) walking out the door.

But you don't want to get in trouble yourself, right? So what are your legal rights when dealing with shoplifters?

What may be legal in the United States can get you arrested in another country.

Toyota and its new head of global public relations, Julie Hamp, are learning that lesson the hard way. A U.S. citizen, Hamp was arrested recently on suspicion of illegally importing a drug into Japan.

Do you pay your employees under the table?

We get it. It's simpler for you to just hand over cash once a week. You won't have to bother with record keeping, deducting taxes, reporting income. You even think you're doing your employee a favor because she gets to keep her whole paycheck.

But, if you're found out, the penalties and punishments for unreported employment (also known as under the table employment) may cost you more money and hassle than if you had done everything by the book.

So, how much trouble are under the table employees?

Anthem's Big Security Breach: 3 Lessons for Small Business Owners

Anthem Blue Cross, the nation's second-largest health insurance company, announced Thursday that a hack into its systems may have exposed the records of up to 80 million customers. This breach included Social Security numbers, addresses, and health care information, but no credit card numbers (which is really immaterial, with all that other information).

Small businesses, just as much as large businesses, need to take steps to ensure the security of customer data. Here's what business owners need to know:

After Sony Hack, 3 Things Businesses Are Doing Differently

In the wake of the large-scale hack of Sony Pictures late last year, businesses have begun implementing security measures to prevent being victimized by a similar attack.

As Bloomberg reports, unlike previous data breaches, which were primarily focused on financial data and trade secrets, the Sony hack included the release of a large amount of personal information on Sony employees. This information included details on employee pay, medical records, and confidential correspondence between Sony employees.

What can businesses to prevent similar data breaches from occurring in the future? Here are three ways some businesses are improving their data security: