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Fraud awareness

Learn about fraud today to stop it happening tomorrow.

We all know how much of a risk fraud is to us and how clever the criminals that seek to target our businesses can be, but the bank aims to work as closely as possible with our customers to help make them aware of the key fraud threats to their business.

In this article we’ll talk about the ways in which we are seeing fraudsters target business, the strategies they are using and how we can best position ourselves to stop any attempts.

Fraud in numbers

The scale of business fraud in the UK:

  • 51% of surveyed businesses experienced a fraud in the past two years (source: Global Economic Crime Survey 2022)
  • £16,821 is the average amount a business pays to fraudsters following common scams (source: UK Finance Half Year Update 2022)

Fraudsters do their homework

Most of us like to think we're too clever to be caught out by things like email and telephone scams, but the methods used by fraudsters are getting more sophisticated all the time.

Fraudsters use multiple resources to collate information about the company and individual staff members, then use it to their advantage. Here are some of the ways they can gather information:

  • Public sources of information – sourcing business information held in the public domain from the likes of Companies House
  • Professional social accounts – utilising platforms such as LinkedIn to discover more about who does what within your business
  • Account hacking – exploiting weak passwords and extracting information through phishing emails and fake websites

Common scams

Criminals are using technology to impersonate employees, suppliers, and other companies. They are turning to more sophisticated ways to take your money, whether through online offers, emails, or telephone calls. Three of the most frequent scams are:

  • Invoice fraud - criminals impersonate suppliers, intercept invoices, and send you fake ones with different bank details
  • Bogus calls - criminals contact you over the phone, often posting as a trusted organisation such as your bank
  • Purchase scams - criminals rely on the anonymity of the internet to advertise non-existent goods on websites and social media

There are many other types of scams to watch out for. Read more about some of the most common scams affecting businesses.

Received a call from us? Telephone fraud, or vishing is where criminals call you and pretend to be from the bank, or other bodies of authority and attempt to persuade you to make or authorise payments to an account they control. If you receive a call from us, hang up and call 159.

Protect your business from fraud

We’ve got lots of information on some of the most common scams affecting businesses. Here are several types of scam that frequently target businesses. Visit our security hub to find out more.

Why employee education is the key

One of the biggest vulnerabilities a business might face is a lack of awareness about the various fraud and scam threats out there, and the huge impacts they could have on businesses. In this article we explain why employee education is the key to tackling business fraud.

Learn how to protect your business

Help to keep your business safe

Get the right training and support for your business. The following tools could help to keep your business safe in the fight against fraud. Best of all, they’re free.


1. Fighting fraud together with e-learning

Sign up to our free fraud e-learning course (hosted by Tessello) to find out more about the common types of fraud that affect businesses – plus tips on how to spot them. In a pick and mix format, you can do it all at once, or dip into it when you have a spare 5 mins. As you complete the modules you’ll also build up a personalised action plan to help you beat fraud.

Start your learning now


2. Tackling fraud together with webinars

Join our insightful free sessions where our fraud experts explain how to spot and avoid common threats and scams. You’ll discover how to protect your business from the latest tricks, and we’ll use real-life examples to show you how to best avoid becoming a victim. There’s plenty of practical proactive advice to share with your colleagues too.

See our upcoming webinars


3. Be fraud aware with our security centre

Learn how to keep your business, supplier and customers safe from scams and fraud. Discover our latest fraud insights as well as how to report anything suspicious. For business owners we offer handpicked toolkits and software, that reduce the risk of email fraud. These are free to use and provided by our security experts.

Keep your business safe

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 NatWest Group, as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Copyright © NatWest Group. All rights reserved.

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