BCRS Business Loans
For our third blog of our financial fraud series, we wanted to address principles you can follow to protect your business from falling victim to financial fraud.
Fraudsters often use the internet to commit crimes. It means they can be located anywhere in the world, and this makes it hard to track and arrest the perpetrators. Traditional policing investigation models are not effective because of the high volume and due to criminals not always being UK-based. Therefore, the best advice to businesses is to put preventative measures in place.
How West Midlands businesses prevent becoming victim to financial fraud?
There are three simple steps in the Governments ‘Take 5’ fraud awareness campaign; Stop, Challenge, Protect:
Small Business Fraud Prevention
The ‘Take 5’ fraud awareness campaign provide a great overview. There are also a number of other tactics any small or medium sized business can do to prevent financial fraud:
To avoid falling victim to Fraudulent Government Loans, check the Financial Conduct Authority’s register for regulated firms, individuals and bodies. You can check their website is genuine by checking their web address. It should always begin with fca.org.uk or register.fca.org.uk. Ensure you only use the contact details listed on the Register to confirm you’re dealing with the genuine firm before parting with your money and information.
While we won’t want to appear rude, it is OK to say:
‘I can’t at the moment’, ‘let me verify that’ or ‘I will get back to you’.
Verification can help to prevent financial fraud. However, this comes with caution. When face-to-face can’t be done, such as calling a supplier, client, or bank - only use a trusted telephone number or email address. Do not use the contact details found within suspicious letters, emails, texts, or the phone number you were called from.
The contact details in scam communications will be the criminals contact details. Use contact details saved in your CRM or Google search the company to find their legitimate contact details from an official source – i.e., their website.
Think twice before confirming your bank, financial and IT administrator details. Always verify their identity before sharing your details. Call or email using a trusted contact details.
Be careful of the type of information you share online. Personal accounts that announce when you’re abroad, reveal your mother’s maiden name, you and your children’s date of birth and pet’s names can be used to get to know you, guess your passwords and sound legitimate.
Companies House and your website can also reveal information about genuine suppliers that can then be used by criminals too.
Don’t give anyone remote access to your computer following a cold call or an unsolicited text or email.
IT, infrastructure, and emails
To prevent emails being hacked, always set up 2FA. This means when you log in, you will also be sent a text message to confirm your identity. This feature is free to all Office 365 subscribers – contact your IT department if this hasn’t already been activated.
Avoid clicking on links or attachments within emails or texts. This is how most cyber and fraudulent criminals gain access to a business’ IT.
How do I check a company’s authenticity?
Purchase items made by a major brand from the list of authorised sellers listed on their official website and ensure you receive proof of purchase.
Be suspicious of any “too good to be true” offers or prices.
Use the secure payment methods recommended by reputable online retailers and auction sites.
Do your research before making any purchases by reading online reviews.
We support the ‘Take Five to Stop Fraud’ campaign, encouraging not only our team, but also our suppliers and clients to stop and challenge suspicious activity.
To help you stay safe from fraud and scams, we adopt the tactics covered in our previous blog posts which you can find here:
Come back soon to find out what to do if your business falls victim to financial fraud.
In the meantime, follow BCRS Business Loans and Superfast IT on social media:
Twitter - @B_C_R_S
LinkedIn - @BCRS Business Loans
Twitter - @SuperfastIT
LinkedIn - @Superfast IT