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Business management

Take Five to beat fraud

The Take Five campaign is here to help you protect yourself, your business and your customers from fraud.

And there are those who exploit the situation for their own gain – criminals who are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police and who prey on people’s vulnerabilities during uncertain times. They know that many businesses may be under financial pressure during the coronavirus lockdown.

Reports of coronavirus-related scams have been prevalent, with fraudsters using the publicity around Covid-19 as an opportunity to target businesses and the public with fraudulent emails, phone calls, texts messages or social media posts.

This is why Take Five, a national campaign led by UK Finance, backed by the UK government and supported by a range of partners including the NatWest Group, is so essential to know about and share with your customers, family and friends. Because during stressful and unusual circumstances, it’s often easy to forget everything you’ve previously learned about financial fraud.

The campaign offers straightforward and impartial advice to help everyone protect themselves from preventable financial scams. This includes email deception and phone-based scams – where criminals impersonate trusted organisations such as the government, HMRC and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as people you would usually trust such as your CEO – and online fraud.

During stressful and unusual circumstances, it’s often easy to forget everything you’ve previously learned about financial fraud

We recommend you take a moment to visit Take Five to learn more about the most common ways criminals are targeting businesses. Businesses should also make use of the campaign materials so that you can help protect others against financial fraud .

And if you believe you’ve fallen for a scam, contact your business’s bank immediately on a number you know to be correct, such as the one listed on your statement, its website or on the back of your debit or credit card.

Some tips to help you remain vigilant against financial fraud
  • Question claims that you’re due money for goods or services that you haven’t ordered or are unaware of, especially if you have to pay any fees upfront.
  • Confirm urgent payment requests directly with the sender in person or over the phone.
  • Confirm service provider bank details directly with the company before payment is made.
  • Be wary of unexpected emails or letters requesting urgent payment, even if it appears to be from someone in your own business.
  • Educate employees on CEO scams and update them on the latest threats.

This material is published by NatWest Group plc (“NatWest Group”), for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by NatWest Group and NatWest Group makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of the NatWest Group Economics Department, as of this date and are subject to change without notice.

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