More than 3.7 million incidents of fraud were reported in 2019, making it the most common crime in England and Wales.
Research suggests that fraud costs the UK economy £193 billion and it can have a devastating financial impact on both individuals and businesses.
Fraudsters don’t discriminate and no one is immune to fraud. To safeguard yourself against fraud it is therefore vital to ensure you are equipped with the knowledge you need to protect your data and personal information.
Fraud comes in many forms. Although most cases of fraud in England and Wales were related to credit and bank accounts, there are hundreds of thousands of known fraud scams.
In cases of credit and bank account fraud, a fraudster will obtain your personal information through elaborate scams, hacking, or the physical theft of confidential documentation. As you are likely to have a large volume of paperwork coming into your office on a daily basis, you might find it beneficial to utilise a confidential shredding service, such as https://www.printwaste.co.uk/ to minimise the risk of your financial information falling into the wrong hands.
In addition to credit and bank account fraud, businesses are also susceptible to a variety of other scams including CEO fraud and procurement fraud.
Fraudsters can create fake email addresses that seemingly mimic those belonging to company directors. Using these fake email addresses fraudsters will contact other prominent employees within the organisation, including those in finance departments to request payment for high-value invoices. Employees may be less likely to question instructions from senior colleagues and these requests are often completed before the scam comes to light.
Often associated with corporate bribery, procurement fraud occurs when employees agree to specific terms with a supplier to purchase goods at inflated prices in exchange for a percentage of the sale.
If you think you have become a victim of fraud, it is important not to make any rash decisions. Reporting your concerns to your bank and to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting agency, is also critical. You may also want to file a report with your local police station or by calling the non-emergency 101 contact number.
Ensuring you are familiar with the scams your business could be susceptible to is the first step to protecting yourself against fraud.