Every business large or small, is susceptible to fraud. It can impact your financial health as well as your reputation, but there are ways you can help safeguard your company.
Scammers are experts at impersonating people, businesses and trusted organisations. They may spend hours researching your business for their scam, hoping you will let your guard down.
They are also using the uncertainty and confusion around the pandemic to trick you into parting with your business’ money or information.
Here’s what you should look out for and how you can protect your company.
There are many scams specifically designed to target business, these can be online, on the phone or through the post. Here’s a few.
Criminals are impersonating government departments and sending fake emails offering grants to SMEs who are struggling financially, with the aim of getting their hands on your banking information.
This scam is as old as they come, criminals send you an invoice for something your business usually purchases, or they might impersonate one of your suppliers. They often state that you’re past your due date and a non-payment will affect your credit rating. A scammer’s favourite tactic is panicking and rushing you into sharing your information.
You may receive official looking emails or letters with the HMRC logo on them, claiming you are owed a tax rebate and will ask you for your bank details. Again, they may try to panic you by stating you owe tax and threaten action against you if you don’t pay up.
You may receive an email that requests a call back, maybe to confirm a booking or a missed called that prompts you to ring them back. These numbers are expensive to call back and can cost up to £1.50 a minute. They often start with 09 or 070.
The best advice to follow to protect yourself from all scams is the government’s campaign Take Five. It’s asking business owners and members of the public alike to stop, challenge and protect. Take a moment to think of what is being asked of you, look out for red flags like unknown numbers, out of the blue communication and an urge to rush you. Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam.
There are also precautions you can take:
Your best defence is an informed workforce. Train your staff on how to look out for scams and encourage them to share when they see something suspicious.
Check all invoices carefully and develop a secure procedure for approving expenditures. To minimise the risk of a mistake, limit the number of employees that can authorise payments.
This is definitely worth thinking about, if a fraudulent attack occurs insurance can mitigate the loss that may occur and reimburse you for the money taken.
Hackers are experts at cracking computer systems. A sturdy fire wall can protect your data as well as difficult passwords for you and you employees that are changed frequently. There is also software you can purchase to protect your data and generate random passwords.
The most important thing to remember before you part with your contact or financial information is to stop and think for a moment, is this a scam?
If you have any questions about our services then please do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team! You can call Lesley Kay on 0161 341 0368.