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Is Your Dental Practice Safe From Scammers?

One of our clients, a dentist, received a disturbing email last week … from himself.

The message said that he was robbed while on vacation with his family and needed money to pay his hotel bill and to purchase plane tickets to return home. The scammers attempted to make the email appear genuine by using the dentist’s name and address. It was then sent to his entire contact list.

Fortunately, his contacts realized that the email was a scam and did not send money. However this email serves as another reminder of how persistent and clever scammers have become. For example, this particular email referenced our client’s name, business address, office phone number and even used the “DDS” distinction following his name in the signature.

Is Your Practice Safe?

Avoid becoming a scammer’s next victim. Here are a few scams you should be on the lookout for.

What it is: A popular file encrypting program that locks your computer and your computer’s files until you pay up. Some victims have reportedly paid up to $10,000 to get their files back.

How to protect yourself: The best way to protect yourself against this is to back up your computer and files daily. You also want to be sure not to click on any links from emails that you aren’t expecting.

What it is: Victims receive a phone call from a scammer claiming to be an IRS representative. The caller threatens the victim with legal action if back taxes are not paid immediately.

How to protect yourself: Remember that the IRS will never call or email you in an attempt to collect payment. They will also never ask for your credit card or social security information over the phone. If you ever receive a call from somebody claiming to be the IRS, hang up and call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at (800) 366-4484. You should also contact the Federal Trade Commission by using the “FTC Complaint Assistant” at www.ftc.gov. Add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

What it is: If your tax return was rejected by the IRS after you filed it online, it’s likely a scammer filed a tax return using your name and social security number to get a fraudulent refund. Thousands of American taxpayers were victims of this scam last year – and there is no reason to believe that this scam is going away.

How to protect yourself: Provide your tax documents to your CPA as early as possible. The best way to ensure that your tax return is filed correctly and that your refund is distributed appropriately (if one is due), is to beat the scammers and file your return early.

Protect Yourself and Your Practice

Contact a Bright Dental CPA if you have been affected by one of these scams or want more information on how to protect yourself against these threats.

By Alan Hill, CPA (Mentor office)


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How Talking To Your Competition Can Work For You

Chances are you’re probably not the only dentist in your town. There are probably other general dentists, or even other dental specialists in your community. So when was the last time you met with other dental practitioners? If your answer is “never” or “it’s been awhile,” then maybe it’s time to schedule lunch.

Why You Should Meet With Other Dentists?

Right now, you might be wondering: “Why should I meet with ‘Joe Dentist’ down the road?” One of the most important reasons to meet with other dentists is to determine if there are areas that are currently not being offered to your community. If you are one of three general dentists in your town, and the nearest orthodontist or endodontist is 15 to 20 miles away, you may have an opportunity to expand your dental practice’s offerings and begin to offer simple orthodontics or sleep apnea or botox treatments.

But if you’re not talking to your competition – would you even know if you have any of these opportunities? Probably not.

In the accounting world, it’s not typically easy for CPAs to get out and talk to other CPAs. But when we do, we learn so much. Likewise, it may not be easy for you to go out and talk to your competition, but it could be a game changer for you and your dental practice. If you need help figuring out how to approach other dentists for a meeting, contact Bright Dental CPAs. Our team can help you develop the right approach to contacting your competition and possibly stepping up your game as a dentist in your community.

Author: Alan Hill, CPA (Mentor office)


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Is Your Dental Practice Prepared For An IT Disaster?

Natural disasters. Hardware meltdowns. New variants of viruses and malware. Unfortunately, we live in a day and age where anything can happen. It’s critical that your dental practice is on its toes, ready to tackle any potential disaster or crisis that may come your way. But is it? If your practice’s computer systems crashed tomorrow, how easy (or even possible) would it be for your practice to recover? Has your dental practice ever given thought to a disaster recovery (DR) plan? Do you have one of these plans?

Here are four reasons why your dental practice should create (if you don’t have one) a disaster recovery plan:

Four Reasons For A IT Disaster Recovery Plan

A Gartner report estimated that only 35 percent of small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) actually have a working and comprehensive DR plan. And from its research, Gartner also found that 40 percent of SMBs that manage their networks and Internet usage in-house will have their networks hacked, and more than 50 percent won’t know they were hacked. Pretty sobering statistics, right? There are many reasons why having a DR plan is a wise move.

  1. You can’t control when a disaster happens – it can happen at any time. Disasters can be natural or man-made – either way, you don’t have control over when it could happen. A DR plan will help you be prepared for anything at any time.
  2. A DR plan can help you save thousands, possibly even millions, of dollars in the event of a disaster. When a disaster strikes, it’s usually not a cheap fix. Depending on its severity, many businesses’ budgets are hit quite hard. And if this is an unexpected expense, it’s that much harder to make a complete recovery.
  3. You can mitigate your losses with a DR plan. Money isn’t the only thing at stake during a disaster. Don’t forget about the trust and confidence of your patients, employees, vendors – the list goes on. A DR plan can help you retain your critical audiences during a disaster.
  4. A DR plan can help you reduce confusion among your staff and audiences. When a disaster hits, imagine the confusion and uncertainty that comes with it. In some cases, it may seem like you have no control over the situation. A DR plan can help you have an organized approach to resolving the disaster.

Does your dental practice have a DR plan? If not, you should create one. Email Bright Dental CPAs for more information about what to include in your plan. If you already have one in place, first pat yourself on the back, and then review it to ensure that it reflects your practice’s current environment. Detailed and tested plans are imperative to the successful recovery and longevity of your dental practice.

By Alan Hill, CPA (Mentor office)


Related Articles:

Guide Your Dental Practice with an Employee Handbook

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The Important Role IT Security Plays Within Your Dental Practice

Rea & Associates, Inc. | Bright Dental CPAs | 7201 Center St, Mentor, Ohio 44060-4858
phone + 440-266-0077