Hartlepool business warned over fraud attacks

Over half of North East small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe that fraud attacks are becoming more frequent, new research shows.

Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 06:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 06:00 am
Cybercrime investigation

Nearly three quarters also believe fraud is becoming more sophisticated, a survey by HSBC reveals following a study of 2,000 British businesses.

The survey found that 57% of North East companies believed fraud attacks were increasing in regularity, with 71% believing them to be growing in sophistication.

Despite this, only 19% of companies from the region believed fraud is an issue specifically for their business and a third (33%) have failed to put any fraud prevention measures in place.

HSBC head of commercial banking Amanda Murphy said: “It’s clear that fraud is a mounting issue for more companies in the North East. Not only are attacks becoming increasingly regular, they are also growing in sophistication and are very difficult for companies to detect.

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“Protecting our customers is an absolute priority for HSBC and we’re working hard with our customers to raise awareness of the types of fraud and the latest scams, but it’s vital that businesses of all sizes are vigilant against this threat.

“Complacency is the fraudster’s friend and we’d urge companies to ensure they are doing all they can to combat scammers. It’s also critical that the victims of fraud report their circumstances to the police to bring these criminals to justice.”

Criminals successfully stole £1.2billion from UK consumers and businesses through fraud and scams in 2018 according to industry body UK Finance.