We highlight some of the most common fraud threats currently being faced by businesses.
Cheque overpayment fraud
Receiving a cheque unexpectedly or at an amount higher than owed by your debtors may not necessarily be the good news it first appears. Particularly if it is quickly followed by a request that the overpayment made ‘in error’ is refunded to them. There are two particular areas of concern you should be aware of:
• This is a fairly typical money-laundering technique whereby money from non-legitimate sources is exchanged for ‘clean’ funds; and
• Paying the refund on the assumption that the cheque has cleared or will clear, exposes you to the risk that the cheque received then bounces and you suffer a loss.
This should put you and your accounts team on immediate alert and you should be wary of receiving cheques for an amount higher than charged or that are unexpected.
Fraudsters continue to send out phishing emails to email addresses connected to businesses in the UK. These appear to come from legitimate sources such as HMRC, but contain hidden URLs which deliver viruses when clicked.
• Do not click on links or open any attachments you receive in unexpected emails.
• Have up-to-date virus protection and always install software updates as soon as they become available.
• Create regular backups of important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider
Constant vigilance is required as your business will be constantly under attack from cyber criminals.