Invoice Fraud Causes Small Businesses to Lose £9bn Annually
Only 44% of smaller firms say they would contact the police or Action Fraud if they received a fraudulent invoice
UK small and medium-sized businesses lose £9bn every year to invoice fraud, according to a report by Tungsten Network.
The survey of over 1,000 companies found that nearly half (47%) have received a fraudulent or suspicious invoice in the last year with 54% identifying it as their single biggest threat.
Of those affected, one in six firms believe the fraud has cost them more than £5,000 in the last year alone.
Worryingly, only 44% of smaller enterprises say they would contact the police or Action Fraud if they received a fraudulent invoice while 13% admitted they wouldn’t know what to do if such a situation arose.
The invoice fraud methods utilised by scammers include viruses embedded in attachments, unknown invoices attached to an email, false changes to bank details, and sending duplicate invoices.
Earlier this month it was revealed that 43% of all cyber-attacks are targeted at small businesses.
Richard Hurwitz, CEO at Tungsten, said:
“UK small businesses face all manner of challenges, and it’s telling that cyber-crime looms as one of the biggest. What’s most troubling is that it needn’t be like this as there are steps companies can take to protect themselves.
“Technology such as electronic invoicing can help battle invoice fraud as only confirmed suppliers can upload their invoices and then these are validated before they are paid, potentially saving firms thousands of pounds.”