Scams targeting businesses increased by nearly a third: Barclays

Customers should get in touch immediately with the bank if they feel they have been scammed

Barclays

Scams targeting businesses increased by nearly a third: Barclays. Source: shutterstock.com

Barclays has reported that scams targeting businesses increased by 31% in January and February when compared with the same period last year.

Impersonation scams were the most commonly used tactic by criminals to target businesses in 2020 accounting for 44%. These figures more than doubled in the second half of the year when compared with the first half (62%).

Impersonation scams are referred t those when fraudsters pretend to be organizations or authorities in the hope that they’ll trick their victims into sharing personal or banking information. Or to even transfer money out of their account.

The bank is issuing a scam warning to all businesses, but particularly those in the property and construction sector. That’s because the data reveals that SMEs in this sector made up 24% of all business scams last year. On average, each scam costs property and construction SMEs a staggering £4,110.

Property and construction businesses often display their company details outside or near construction projects they’re working on, making it easier for fraudsters to research and target their scam. SMEs should consider having checks in place to confirm the legitimacy of any new suppliers, or even unexpected changes to existing suppliers, during a job. It’s incredibly important that business owners and their staff are aware of the different type of scams that can occur and remain vigilant at all times. The vast majority of scams could be prevented by taking simple steps such as double-checking payment details with a source you know is genuine. I’d encourage SMEs to talk about preventing fraud with their staff, suppliers, and clients, however, if they are ever in doubt, they should contact their bank for more advice
John Heaver, Barclays Head of Business Banking Fraud

We’ve reported that 1 in 5 Americans changed their banks amid pandemic.

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