Take Five to stop fraud

A new campaign is helping businesses to protect themselves

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Small businesses across the UK continue to struggle due to the economic shockwaves caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. ACCA’s SME Tracker showed that towards the end of last year:

  • nearly 20% of SME clients felt more stressed and anxious than usual
  • just over 15% were either not sleeping well or experienced worsened mental health conditions
  • 3% said they were either feeling unable to cope or had intrusive negative thoughts or suicidal feelings.

Such anxiety and stresses can be exacerbated when a business falls victim to cyber fraud.

We are therefore proud to be supporting Take Five to Stop Fraud with its campaign, The Business Cost Of Fraud. Businesses are a target for criminals as their accounts will generally hold more money than the average person and some may have fewer processes and measures in place than bigger businesses.

Research shows SMEs are targeted frequently by criminals, with 80% receiving unsolicited text/email requests, and 64% being targeted over the phone or in person. The impact of fraud and scams on businesses can be devastating. Many struggle to recover from the severe financial and reputational damage it can cause.

Steps to protect ourselves

However, there are things we can all do to protect ourselves. When you’re at work, if you receive an urgent request for payment or a supplier requests changes to bank details always remember to Stop, Challenge, Protect.

Ask yourself if the request could be a scam? Verify the request directly on a known phone number or in person first. It may feel awkward checking with your boss, but they’ll be grateful that you are helping to protect the business.

If you think you may have fallen for a scam, contact your business’s bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via Action Fraud. If you are in Scotland, please report to Police Scotland directly by calling 101 or Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000.

Additional resources

ACCA's cybersecurity packages

ACCA's cybersecurity resources