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Coronavirus and fraud: What you need to know to protect your business


Alongside the many different disruptions and threats that businesses have had to navigate in the last few months, the global pandemic has also caused an increased risk of business fraud.

Here we look at the risks, and what you need to look out for to keep your business safe.

Why are risks increased?

With the disruption created by the ongoing pandemic, many business owners and employees will be feeling more pressure than usual and may be struggling to adjust to an entirely new way of working.

Criminals looking to commit fraud will see an opportunity to take advantage of these conditions, tricking businesses into making false payments, giving away information or buying non-existent goods or services.

Another possible added risk could come from companies having to adapt to working remotely, which they may not have been prepared for. This could cause issues when it comes to communication and the verification of payments.

Fraudsters have also been taking advantage of people’s desire for information and eagerness to respond appropriately for their business.

Some of the new and increased scams that have been seen in recent months include:

How to stay protected

Being aware of these scams is a great first step to keeping your business safe, but what other actions should you take to protect your business?

Stay Informed

As well as being aware of the above scams, it is important to make sure that everyone else in your business is also aware, particularly if they have access to sensitive information or the ability to make payments.

It is also important to pay attention to any new advice or warnings being issued by official parties, as scammers are continuously coming up with new ways to target companies.

Keep software up to date

Most businesses will use some type of anti-fraud software which, when up to date, can greatly reduce the risk of a cyber attack.

There are also other types of protection that you can introduce or update alongside anti-fraud software, such as two factor authentication, spam filters and the security setting built into your email provider.

Pick up the phone

Whether you make an internal phone call to a colleague to verify information or a payment, call suppliers on a trusted number to check the information you’ve received or contact the bank immediately if you think you may have fallen victim to a scam, it’s always better to pick up the phone than not.

Especially when it comes to invoice fraud, should a supplier change their bank details always contact them on a phone number or email address you have on file to verify this information.

Have you had any encounters with scammers during the pandemic? We’d love to hear about your experiences and any advice you may want to share in the comments below.


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