NI businesses targeted by scams

Northern Ireland businesses are losing millions of pounds due to increasingly sophisticated scams

Trading Standards Service (TSS) is warning businesses across Northern Ireland to be vigilant following an alarming increase in complaints from local companies being targeted by fraudsters in scams. Scams are becoming more sophisticated with increased planning and plausibility from fraudsters.

Businesses targeted by scammers

Damien Doherty, area inspector for TSS said: “While most of us think of scams as crimes against consumers, we tend to forget that businesses can fall victims to the rogues and conmen just as easily. Scamming businesses, both large and small, can be so profitable that many scammers now concentrate solely on targeting the business sector. Scams are a multi-million pound industry and businesses are often viewed as easy-pickings.

“We see examples, on almost a daily basis, in which small businesses hand over money to the scammers without researching the service being offered, or finding out details about the company they are dealing with. Unfortunately, by the time the matter is reported to Trading Standards, the scammers have disappeared and it’s too late to get any money back.”

Protect your business

Advice issued by the TSS includes:

  • having a limited number of employees able to authorise orders
  • never agreeing to anything over the phone
  • keeping all paperwork
  • querying any invoices for goods or services you don’t believe you’ve agreed to

There is also free guidance on protect your business from scams and avoiding scams.