Belfast Telegraph

Study reveals business scam figures

Two thirds of companies have been targeted by business scams in the last year, a survey has revealed.

Firms claim fraudsters are costing companies thousands of euro through bogus overseas offers, international business directories and "phishing".

The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Isme) warned members to be extra vigilant over the summer holiday period as junior staff can be targeted while management are on leave.

Mark Fielding, Isme chief executive, said: "The level of scams against business is rising, with an increasing number of companies falling victim to fraudsters who are becoming particularly sophisticated, devising new and intricate methods to rip off unsuspecting companies.

"Small businesses are already under huge pressure in the current financial climate and can ill afford to fall victim to these scams, which could send some over the edge."

A survey of 714 companies showed 67% were the target of a scam event in the last 12 months. Of those, 73% identified overseas offers, 57% business directories and 46% "phishing" as the main scams perpetrated on their business.

Mr Fielding warned companies to be particularly wary of any unsolicited correspondence received in relation to non-existent professional guides and internet directories.

"The level, extent and sophistication of business scams is rising, with the potential to cost companies thousands of euro, as well as the lost time spent attempting to rectify the problem," he added.

"Companies need to be more vigilant, particularly during holiday periods, to ensure that they are not the next victim of these scam artists, conmen and tricksters.

"It is now imperative that there is an increased recognition by law enforcement agencies of the impact of fraudulent activity and the consequences on business."

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