Recent figures from UK Finance reveal that criminals stole £40.5 million from businesses through authorised push payment fraud during the first half of 2022. This is where the fraudster tricks their victim into sending money directly from their account to an account which the criminal controls.
Businesses are often a target for criminals as their accounts generally hold more money than the average consumer. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can be more at risk than other businesses as they may have fewer protective measures to detect fraud and less regular training on the issue.
The new ‘Can you spot fraud?’ quiz from UK Finance and Amazon helps employers and employees confidently challenge situations where criminals may be targeting their business. Recreating a busy office environment, the training takes users through a series of potentially fraudulent situations. It aims to give people the knowledge and ability to spot real-world scam calls, texts, emails and social media posts.
“85,000 SMEs in the UK sell on Amazon’s store and we continually look to ways to support them.”
The impact of fraud and scams on businesses can be detrimental. Many struggle to recover from the severe financial and reputational damage it can cause.
The most common ways criminals target businesses are through CEO scams and invoice and mandate scams. Invoice and mandate scams occur when criminals pose as regular suppliers and convince you to change their existing bank account details. In a CEO scam, criminals impersonate your boss or a senior manager to convince you to make an urgent payment outside of your business’s internal procedure.
“We are excited to announce the launch of the ‘Can you spot fraud’ quiz, a collaboration with Amazon, to help employers and employees spot the signs of fraud and scams,” said Katy Worobec, managing director of Economic Crime at UK Finance. “Millions of pounds are lost to fraud by businesses every year so it’s important to be able to spot the signs and be savvy to the sophisticated techniques used by criminals. We encourage all businesses to take the quiz and see whether they can spot a scam. When in doubt follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign – take a moment to stop and think as it could keep your business safe.”
John Boumphrey, UK Country Manager for Amazon, said: “85,000 SMEs in the UK sell on Amazon’s store and we continually look to ways to support them. We are delighted to join with ‘Take Five to Stop Fraud’ to create this tool which businesses of all sizes can use as a quick and easy training resource. We are keen to help educate employees and owners about some of the most common forms of fraud that target small businesses, as we work with Government to prevent this awful activity.”
“As the Minister responsible for tackling fraud, I am committed to using the combined tools of law enforcement, government and industry to crack down on scammers and improve awareness amongst the public and businesses,” said Security Minister Tom Tugendhat. “Take Five and Amazon’s quiz tests our knowledge to protect ourselves. It’s a great way of reminding us to play every card to stop scammers. We can all do more and test ourselves to be safer and harder to beat.”
“Fraud can cost small businesses greatly,” said Martin McTague, national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses. “Our most recent research in this area found that around 20% of small businesses had fallen victim to cybercrime. With more criminals operating online in more savvy ways, it can be increasingly hard to spot. This quiz is a useful reminder to keep us all on our toes and help us to be vigilant.”
To help businesses stay safe, the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign advice is to:
- Stop: If you receive a request to make an urgent payment, change supplier bank details or provide financial information, take a moment to stop and think.
- Challenge: Could it be fake? Verify payments and supplier details directly with the company on a known phone number or in person first.
- Protect: Contact your business’s bank immediately if you think you’ve been scammed and report it to Action Fraud.
Take the ‘Can you spot fraud?’ quiz.