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Online Fraud Scams on the Rise – How to Protect Your Business

There has been a rise in the rate of text and call scams working their way out in 2022. In the past year, text spam rose by 30%, with 38% of people reporting they had received a suspicious text message in 2021. Though these scams are still increasing and posing problems for individuals nationwide, there seems to be a new target for fraudsters to make use of – digital payments.

Online Shopping

Buying things online or paying for services online has become the new way to go about your normal day. Electronic and digital payments have become a huge way to interact with businesses and companies, and to avoid the internet for marketing and sharing your product is a great detriment to the success of your business.

However, there are risks that come with consumers buying online – both for consumers and businesses. According to the Global Payment Fraud Statistics Report by Merchant Savvy, UK payment losses due to fraudulent card payments, remote banking and cheques reached over £800 million in 2019 alone, often by stealing card information and making the payment remotely. This has a big impact for small businesses especially, as these purchases often tend to be costly to the consumer and thus products worth a lot in value are often taken, dramatically impacting money lost.

This risk isn’t just for businesses though. According to the Statista Global Consumer Survey in the UK in 2022, 68% of online payments were made using a debit card. This means consumers putting their financial details in and needing to trust their details will be kept safe. Not only does this mean if a leak were to happen, consumers would lose faith in a business, but it also means that consumers may be less reluctant on a whole to interact with online businesses, limiting what is quickly becoming one of the biggest ways to connect with customers in the modern day.

Protecting Customers

As customers are the heart of your business, it’s therefore important to take all of the necessary steps to protect them and keep them safe from online fraud – this includes from other individuals and from fraudulent businesses who may use your name to take advantage of your brand.

One of the biggest ways to do this is to educate and reassure your consumers, giving them information on how you will protect their data and what sort of information they should or should not be asked for. It’s also worth pointing out details that can reassure your consumers they’re safe – for example, making sure they’re aware of the padlock sign next to your web address showing that they are browsing safely and securely.

Use your social media or platforms to advertise any potential fraudulent companies you see, too. For example, if you notice a business acting as your business, then screenshot their page and share to your followers letting them know there is a fraudster acting as you. This helps encourage consumers to be more mindful about what they do and don’t interact with, as well as letting them know you care about their safety and encouraging them to trust you. Social media is also a great tool when trying to find out more about any fraudulent activity that may be happening regarding your business – read here to find out more.

Protecting Your Business

It’s also important that you protect your business from financial crime, whether that’s from individuals who may be taking advantage of your company or online hackers who are determined to retrieve confidential information.

Making sure your business and its private information is protected is essential. This is why running security audits, for example, is important for noticing any weak points in your security. This means you can tackle any issues head on and avoid cybercriminals taking advantage of those weak spots to carry out online fraud.

Online payment fraud is also becoming a bigger problem, and it’s important to become aware of what it may look like in order to identify it early and put a stop to it. For example, a review of all bank accounts, transactions, and other financial records is essential to do regularly in order to pick up on anything that may be suspicious. You can also get automated software to do this for you.

Educating yourself and your business employees is also essential for understanding the signs of financial crime. For example, Financial Crime Courses like the one from Study Academy can help employers identify risks of financial crime and prevent them from occurring, as well as take the steps essential to keep your business safe.

Fraud and financial crime is one of the biggest threats to businesses to date. With some extra preparation and care taken into preventing financial crime and protecting your business, you can navigate the online world successfully without losing profits or consumers.