cocredo - company credit checks

Tips to help businesses avoid being scammed

  • 19/12/2023
  • Paul Atkinson

a scam email appearing on a person's laptop

The research conducted by AAG in 2022 revealed that 39% of UK businesses experienced cyber-attacks, resulting in an average cost of £4200. However, this also highlights the need for businesses to invest in cybersecurity measures and stay updated with the latest security protocols to mitigate these risks. By doing so, companies can ensure a safe and secure business environment for their customers and employees.

Most common business scams: 

1. Phishing Emails:

Scammers often send emails that appear to be from reputable sources, such as banks, government agencies, or business partners, to trick employees into revealing sensitive information or downloading malicious software.

2. Invoice Fraud:

Fraudsters may send fake invoices, claiming payment for goods or services that were never provided. These invoices often mimic the format of legitimate invoices to deceive businesses into making payments.

3. Tech Support Scams:

Fraudsters may pose as IT support personnel, contacting businesses to warn them of non-existent computer issues and offering solutions that involve payment for unnecessary services.

4. Supplier Impersonation:

Fraudsters pose as legitimate suppliers and request payment for goods or services. Businesses may unknowingly send funds to the scammer, thinking they are paying a trusted supplier.

5. HMRC/ Government Impersonation:

Scammers may impersonate government officials, claiming the business owes taxes or fees. They threaten legal action or penalties to coerce businesses into making immediate payments.

Protecting your business from Christmas scams is crucial to ensure you don't fall victim to fraud, lose money and sensitive information, or even damage your reputation. 

Don't let scammers take advantage of the festive season - take proactive measures to safeguard your business and enjoy the festive season with peace of mind.

10 tips to help businesses avoid fraud and scams

A business team sitting together having a meeting

1. Employee Training:
Train employees to recognise common scams, especially during the holiday season. Educate them about phishing emails, fake websites, and social engineering tactics.

2. Verify Emails and Communication:
Encourage employees to verify the authenticity of emails, especially those requesting sensitive information or financial transactions. Check email addresses for any subtle variations or misspellings that may indicate a scam.

3. Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA):
Implement multi-factor authentication wherever possible to add an extra layer of security to accounts and systems.

4. Secure Online Transactions:
Ensure that your online payment systems are secure and use reputable payment gateways. Verify the security of your website, especially if it involves customer transactions.

5. Keep Software Updated:
Regularly update and patch all software, including antivirus and anti-malware programs, to protect against the latest threats.

6. Beware of Unsolicited Communications:
Be cautious of unsolicited emails, calls, or messages, especially if they claim to be from financial institutions, vendors, or partners.

7. Check Website Security:
Ensure your website has a secure connection (HTTPS) and uses encryption to protect customer data during online transactions.

8. Monitor Bank and Financial Statements:
Regularly review bank and financial statements for any unauthorised or suspicious transactions.

9. Use Reputable Vendors:
Only engage with reputable and well-known vendors for business transactions. Verify the legitimacy of new or unfamiliar partners.

10. Report Suspicious Activity:
Encourage employees to report any suspicious activity promptly, fostering a culture of vigilance within the organisation. 

By implementing these measures and maintaining a proactive approach to cybersecurity, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to fraud, scams, or any other cyber threat.

Our UK and International Monitoring service

Monitoring is available on many of our UK and International reports, allowing you to track the changes occurring in businesses you trade with locally and overseas. We will show both positive and negative changes. Receive real-time updates and risk alerts to help you make safe and prompt business decisions.

You have the option to receive alerts on a daily or weekly basis for 12 months regarding the financial performance of businesses that you have selected. These alerts will provide important updates, including details on county court judgments and management changes, which could impact a company's credit score or risk.

Learn how our team of experts can assist your small business with Credit Reports and Monitoring services, both domestically and internationally, covering 240 countries worldwide. To learn more, call us at 01494 790600 or email us instead. 

Get in touch