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Businesses warned to be vigilant when paying bills or switching suppliers
Businesses are being urged to stay vigilant when paying their bills or changing supplier , as new data from Barclays reveals that in the last three months , fraudsters stole the most money from SMEs through invoice scams .
Invoice scams are when fraudsters divert genuine invoices or payment instructions sent by email , often from a familiar supplier or contact and send a replica email with the bank details changed to an account controlled by them .
Barclays data has shown that this type of scam accounted for 55 % of all money lost by SME clients in the last three months , up 6 % year-on-year , with an average loss of £ 2,100 .
Over half ( 56 %) said it will have an impact on their bottom line .
BARCLAYS IS WARNING BUSINESS OWNERS TO BE ON THEIR GUARD AS THEY LOOK TO SWITCH SUPPLIERS TO FIND THE BEST DEAL .
Nearly nine in 10 ( 85 %) said they would be willing to switch to a supplier they haven ’ t heard of before if they were offering a better price . Barclays is warning business owners to be on their guard as they look to switch suppliers to find the best deal , as fraudsters may impersonate suppliers and provide updated bank details or information for payment .
While invoice scams have been the most profitable for scammers in the last three months , purchase scams , where businesses buy items that do not arrive , were the most common type . This was followed by impersonation scams , where fraudsters pretend to be from trusted organisations . x
The overall amount stolen from SMEs has gone up 13 % over the last year , despite the volume going down , indicating that scammers are succeeding in fewer , highervalue scams and business owners are at risk of making greater losses .
“ Businesses are under a huge amount of pressure at the moment as they prepare for the new financial year and navigate additional challenges wrought by rising costs ,” said Joe Cooksey , Head of Business Digital Education at Barclays . “ We know that fraudsters will be looking to take advantage of busy business owners and will ramp up their efforts . Scammers are social engineers of the highest order , so it ’ s vital that business owners and their staff remain vigilant , and if doubt , double check with their bank or a source they know is genuine .”
A recent poll of UK businesses reveals that 85 % are worried about the effect the upcoming price hikes and increased operating costs will have on their business .
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