To commemorate International Fraud Awareness Week (November 13 to 19, 2022), UK Finance's 'Take Five to Stop Fraud' campaign and Amazon have launched the 'Can you spot fraud?' quiz, which will assist businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, in avoiding fraud.
The launch follows recent UK Finance data revealing that criminals stole £40.5 million from businesses during the first half of 2022 through authorised push payment fraud. This is where the fraudster dupes their victim into transferring money directly from their account to an account controlled by the criminal.
Businesses are frequently targeted by criminals because their accounts typically contain more money than the average consumer.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may be more vulnerable than larger corporations because they have fewer safeguards in place to detect fraud and receive less regular training on the subject.
The new quiz empowers employers and employees to confidently confront situations in which criminals may be targeting their company. The training simulates a busy office environment and walks users through a series of potentially fraudulent situations. It aims to teach people how to identify real-world scam calls, texts, emails, and social media posts.
Fraud and scams can have a negative impact on businesses. Many people are still struggling to recover from the severe financial and reputational harm it can cause.
CEO scams and invoice and mandate scams are the most common ways criminals target businesses.
Invoice and mandate scams occur when criminals impersonate regular suppliers and persuade you to change their existing bank account information. Criminals impersonate your boss or a senior manager in a CEO scam to persuade you to make an urgent payment outside of your company's internal procedures.
Katy Worobec, managing director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, said:
“We are excited to announce the launch of the ‘Can you spot fraud’ quiz, a collaboration with Amazon, to help employers and employees spot the signs of fraud and scams.
Millions of pounds are lost to fraud by businesses every year so it’s important to be able to spot the signs and be savvy to the sophisticated techniques used by criminals.
“We encourage all businesses to take the quiz and see whether they can spot a scam. When in doubt follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign - take a moment to stop and think as it could keep your business safe.”
John Boumphrey, UK Country Manager for Amazon, said:
“85,000 SMEs in the UK sell on Amazon’s store, and we continually look to ways to support them.
We are delighted to join with ‘Take Five to Stop Fraud’ to create this tool which businesses of all sizes can use as a quick and easy training resource.
We are keen to help educate employees and owners about some of the most common forms of fraud that target small businesses, as we work with Government to prevent this awful activity.”
Security Minister, Tom Tugendhat added:
“As the Minister responsible for tackling fraud, I am committed to using the combined tools of law enforcement, government and industry to crack down on scammers and improve awareness amongst the public and businesses.
“Take Five and Amazon’s quiz tests our knowledge to protect ourselves. It’s a great way of reminding us to play every card to stop scammers. We can all do more and test ourselves to be safer and harder to beat.”
And finally, Martin McTague, national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said:
“Fraud can cost small businesses greatly. Our most recent research in this area found that around 20% of small businesses had fallen victim to cybercrime.
With more criminals operating online in more savvy ways, it can be increasingly hard to spot. This quiz is a useful reminder to keep us all on our toes and help us to be vigilant.”
To help businesses stay safe, the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign advice is to:
Stop: If you receive a request to make an urgent payment, change supplier bank details or provide financial information, take a moment to stop and think.
Challenge: Could it be fake? Verify payments and supplier details directly with the company on a known phone number or in person first.
Protect: Contact your business’s bank immediately if you think you’ve been scammed and report it to Action Fraud.
Can you spot fraud? Take the quiz...
Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).