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Seven scams that target companies and directors

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Given the potential for large corporate sums of money being held by companies, they are often targeted by scams and fraud. Ahead of International Fraud Awareness Week, 11-18 November 2018, here is a list of the most common:

1. “Friday Fraud”

Fraudsters use various methods to get the information they need to raid a firm’s accounts. Why Friday? The clever reasoning being that fraudsters know that on Fridays, sometimes people’s guard are down, as they look forward to the weekend and don’t want to wait until Monday to question things.  It is also the busiest day for conveyancing and large sums of money are exchanged. A classic example is an email or call to the company’s Financial Director, purporting to be from the Managing Director, or a solicitor, saying there is urgency to complete a transaction by the weekend, requesting payment into an account.

2. Claiming to be from a government organisation and being told ‘’for a fee you can advertise on this site’’

Many people claim to act on behalf of government organisations, as it seems ‘prestigious’ and gives authority – information is likely to be transferred due to ‘trust’. But don’t take their word! Never hand over details to anyone – are they actually who they say they are? Do your research. Ask all the questions.

3. Telesales

Someone calls up, making a false statement, with the receiver giving out information they would not do if they realised who was actually on the phone. This enable scammers to access the companies documents and details.

Likewise, charities may ring up, informing directors that if they pay a certain donation, they will benefit society, gaining a good reputation. A link or small company promotion may be offered in return. The company donate…yet did the money actually go to a charity?

4. Money Loans

Directors hunt everywhere, for the cheapest rates when needing quick finance. Advertisements for fast money loans, without formal credit checks tend to appear online and in newspapers. When you call, you are told your loan is agreed and you must pay insurance costs via a money transfer. You pay the fee, then realise you never received your loan or hear from the company again!  Be wary!

5. Double Check Fraud

This involves writing two checks for a single expense – one could be entered by the accountant into the system, yet the other could be written out for him/her! Regularly audit your accounts to prevent this.

6. Phishing Scams

You click on links which are shared online which seem relevant but unbeknown to you, by doing so, third parties receive and use your personal information to hack bank accounts. Likewise, your computer is infected by a virus. To protect yourself – be aware and have up to date anti-virus software.

7. ‘Pay This Invoice’ scam

Companies tend to use large providers for electricity and water etc.  Scammers may contact you and say ‘’your business rate/payment to {provider} is overdue’’. They request payment to the account they detail you. You pay, thinking they are legit…yet you have been fooled.

If you are suspicious of any of these scams occurring to you or within your workplace, report it immediately to Action Fraud, your local trading standards office or your local police station

The 11th – 17th November 2018 is International Fraud Week. Join in, get educated and spread awareness to help minimise the impact of fraud.




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