Many businesses unaware of invoice fraud threat

Over four in ten businesses in the UK are unaware of the risks posed by invoice fraud, despite these scams costing firms almost £93m in 2018. Research by UK Finance found that there were 3,280 invoice fraud incidents over the year, with an average loss per case of over £28,000.

Invoice scams take place when fraudsters trick businesses into transferring money by posing as legitimate payees. Of the £92.7m lost by businesses through such crime 2018, £29.6m was ultimately recovered by businesses.

From a survey of 1,500 UK firms, over four in ten (43%) were unaware of the existence of invoice fraud. Over half (55%) of sole traders were aware of the threat of invoice fraud compared to two-thirds (68%) of small business, and 84% of large businesses.

Smaller firms were also less likely to have experienced invoice fraud, with around 6% of sole traders having been targeted compared to one in four (26%) of larger firms. Katy Worobec, managing director of economic crime at UK Finance, said: “Invoice fraud could happen to businesses of all sizes. It’s vital that all employees are trained to identify potentially fraudulent transactions.

“The gangs behind this type of fraud are increasingly sophisticated and will often get hold of details that allow them to pose convincingly as regular suppliers.”

Invoice fraud involves criminals targeting businesses by posing as a regular supplier and making a request for their bank account details to be changed, often by email. Businesses are then tricked into sending money to an account controlled by the fraudster rather than the genuine supplier. Often the criminals will try to acquire details from businesses, such as the date when regularly payments are due, to make their approach more convincing.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories