Australian businesses reported more than 5800 scams with losses exceeding $7.2 million in 2018, a 53 per cent increase compared to 2017, according to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC).
One of the more common scams targeting businesses is hacking business email systems and impersonating the intended payment recipient. In these cases, scammers request changes to bank account details so that the business makes the payment to the scammer instead of the legitimate business.
According to the ACCC, small businesses with fewer than 20 staff were most likely to be targeted by scammers and accounted for more than 75 per cent of reports received. Businesses were most likely to be targeted with false billing scams but investment, hacking and phishing scams also caused significant losses.
Ensuring all staff are aware of these scams and putting in place clear processes and procedures for transferring money and verifying changes of bank account details are ways businesses can protect themselves.
We’d encourage all clients to visit www.scamwatch.gov.au to learn more about scams potentially targeting your business. You can also follow @scamwatch_gov on Twitter and subscribe to Scamwatch radar alerts. Businesses can also sign up to the ACCC’s Small Business Information Network to receive emails about new or updated resources, enforcement action, and scams relevant to the small business sector.