To mark International Fraud Awareness Week (13-19 November 2022), UK Finance’s Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign and Amazon today launch the ‘Can you spot fraud?’ quiz, to help businesses, particularly small and medium sized enterprises, stay safe from fraud.
The launch follows recent figures from UK Finance revealing that criminals stole £40.5 million from businesses through authorised push payment fraud during the first half of 2022. This is where the fraudster tricks their victim into sending money directly from their account to an account which the criminal controls.
Businesses are often a target for criminals as their accounts generally hold more money than the average consumer. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can be more at risk than other businesses as they may have fewer protective measures to detect fraud and less regular training on the issue.
The new quiz helps employers and employees confidently challenge situations where criminals may be targeting their business. Recreating a busy office environment, the training takes users through a series of potentially fraudulent situations. It aims to give people the knowledge and ability to spot real-world scam calls, texts, emails and social media posts.
The impact of fraud and scams on businesses can be detrimental. Many struggle to recover from the severe financial and reputational damage it can cause.
The most common ways criminals target businesses are through CEO scams and invoice and mandate scams. Invoice and mandate scams occur when criminals pose as regular suppliers and convince you to change their existing bank account details. In a CEO scam, criminals impersonate your boss or a senior manager to convince you to make an urgent payment outside of your business’s internal procedure.
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:
“Small businesses are the beating heart of the UK economy. Amazon is proud to support the 85,000 UK SMEs who sell on our store to customers around the world, and the 250,000 jobs these companies create.
“We are absolutely committed to provide these businesses with the tools and resources they need to succeed and to protect themselves against scammers. That is why we are delighted to partner with Take Five to Stop Fraud to help both our sellers and SMEs across the country better identity and respond to real-world scams.”
Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said:
“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.”
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.
Notes to Editors:
- Access the ‘Can you spot fraud?’ quiz at: https://businessquiz.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk
- UK Finance’s 2022 Half Year Fraud Update found that £40.5m was stolen from ‘non-personal’ accounts through authorised push payment scams in H1 2022. This is a rise of 2 per cent compared to the same period in 2021.
- This product targets SMEs in the UK. While content will be designed to appeal to a broad range of SMEs, our focus is on those with between 0-49 employees who lack the more formal structures to tackle fraud – this segment equates to 5.9 million businesses, many of which may be already working with Amazon or could have the potential to sell through Amazon. We want to talk directly to business owners and senior leaders within these SMEs.
UK Finance Press Office
020 7416 6750