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Stop Thief!

The 6 most common small-business scams and how to protect yourself.

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This story appears in the April 1998 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

A Washington, DC public relations entrepreneur watched in horror as her computer screen went blank. She hurriedly checked the Yellow Pages and called the first technician she found. He assured her the files could be retrieved and her computer would be working in a few days. She was relieved. Months of research for several clients' projects and a long list of hot business prospects weren't lost after all.

Wrong. Several computer crashes later, the entrepreneur called a second technician and learned the sad truth. The replaced parts weren't new but used, and most of her system's components had been stripped and replaced with secondhand parts.

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