Fraudulent Activity Targeting SMEs
Recently, we have been subject to a scam. Luckily we were able to catch wind of this and inform our customers.
A fraudulent letter had been sent out to our customers informing them that our bank details had changed. This was completely false and Belmont Packaging Ltd has not changed their bank details.
The effects of business scams
According to This Is Money, a staggering one in seven SMEs have been a victim of some sort of invoice scam in the last 12 months, and these types of scams are on the rise.
Essentially, the scammers will attempt to trick companies into paying out on what looks like a very convincing invoice - or in our case - a letter informing customers that the payment details have changed.
A quarter of businesses targeted end up losing around £5,000 on average, and sometimes more if the scammers are more sophisticated.
So, what can be done to stop these scammers?
Top tips to avoid being subject to a scam
1. New invoices should always be checked
If you receive an invoice that looks even slightly different, has new details or if you’re not expecting an invoice at that time, call the business on a trusted number. You should always source the telephone number from the actual website rather than the document you have received
2. Scan every detail of the document
Make sure the email address you received this from is legit and scan every aspect of the document. If something looks ‘off’, just call the business to confirm the change (again get the details from the business website).
3. If you spot it, report it
If you’re unlucky enough to come across a scam, report it to the business involved and seek advice from Action Fraud. It’s always better to be on the safe side, so if you feel like your business has been compromised, you should communicate the fraudulent activity to your contacts and customers to ensure that they are not left out of pocket.
Remember: If you pay a fraudulent invoice, you’re still legally obliged to pay the real invoice.
Kate Hulley - Owner Manager, Belmont Packaging