keyboard_arrow_left See all news

Recent News

Dasiy Communications / 15 Mar 2020
With the UK's biggest providers offering unlimited data plans, we answer your questions about the new tariffs.
Visit us at Stand 646 at the Northern Business Expo and get 20% off our unlimited tariff...
NX Comms / 14 Mar 2020
Dongles Are Dead!
It’s unlikely that you’ll ever be in an area without a signal. If one network has a ...
Northern Business Expo / 13 Mar 2020
How to write engaging content for social media
Putting all of this together is hard, especially with the sheer volume of content that u...
Northern Business Expo / 12 Mar 2020
Ultimate guide to a successful marketing plan
Follow this initial guide to make sure you get the most you can from your marketing stra...
Atlas Business Group / 12 Mar 2020
Server Colocation could have more benefits than you think.
explore co-locating your server
Northern Business Expo / 11 Mar 2020
Google My Business listings. What, How and Why.
Google My Business (GMB) is one of the best ways to get local rankings and improve your ...
Atlas Business Group / 10 Mar 2020
It is no longer a matter of “if” but “when” a real world threat will compromise your business data.  Will you be ready
What happens when disaster strikes your business!
Northern Business Expo / 10 Mar 2020
Social Media 101
As good as social media can be, it isn’t as easy as putting an ad in the local newspap...
Northern Business Expo / 09 Mar 2020
Content marketing strategy – what, how and why
The best way to describe it is that it is your overall vision that guides the content de...
Atlas Business Group / 08 Mar 2020
Say goodbye to large telephone bills and go all inclusive
Tomorrows telecom
Nxcomms / 08 Mar 2020
Are you ready for full fibre broadband?
Are you ready for full fibre broadband?
Nxcomms / 07 Mar 2020
What’s a Private APN and why should I care?
That’s where a Private APN comes in. This type of connection gives you your very own p...
Huthwaite International / 06 Mar 2020
Decisions, decisions – map out your decision-making unit to sell more effectively
You may assume the most senior person is the ultimate decision maker but that may not be...
Dasiy Communications / 05 Mar 2020
Upgrade to VoIP and discover the benefits
You might have heard the words Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) being spoken about ov...
Nxcomms / 04 Mar 2020
Could Your Internet Connection Be Endangering Your Business?
If you sit there and do nothing about your internet, you’re courting disaster. Don’t...
Northern Business Expo / 03 Mar 2020
Top tips for entrepreneurs
You’re an entrepreneur with a business idea, ready to get cracking. It’s an exciting...
Daisy Communications / 03 Mar 2020
How a VoIP phone system could save you time, money and resources
By getting rid of their premise-based phone systems, companies are discovering new, stre...
Huthwaite International / 02 Mar 2020
 Fact or Fiction: The top 10 myths in sales strategy
Learn which actions lead to sales success and how to avoid those that don’t. Understan...
YorCyberSec / 01 Mar 2020
Shopping and email safety online
Doing these things will not guarantee that payment information cannot be taken but it hi...
Dasiy Communications / 29 Feb 2020
Why your legacy phone system is costing you more than you think
Why your legacy phone system is costing you more than you think
Northern Business Expo / 28 Feb 2020
12 ways to push your small business to new heights
Take a step back from your everyday tasks and consider how many of these points apply to...
Dasiy Communications / 27 Feb 2020
Answers To Your Questions About the PSTN 2025 Switch Off
Answers To Your Questions About the PSTN 2025 Switch Off
Fiscale Ltd - R&D Tax Credits / 26 Feb 2020
How to maximise your R&D Tax Credits claim
How to get maximum value from your R&D! In our humble opinion there are still far too ma...
Daisy Communications / 25 Feb 2020
Unpacking the new Samsung Galaxy S20 Range
Explore and save on the new Samsung S20 Range
Northern Business Expo / 24 Feb 2020
11 steps to get the most out of visiting an expo or trade show
Events and trade shows are great for many reasons, no more so than in this digital age. ...
Huthwaite International / 23 Feb 2020
SPIN® SELLING – stop talking and start listening
Sellers must take care not to get caught up in the excitement of talking about the bells...
Northern Business Expo / 22 Feb 2020
The 7 building blocks for a prosperous consultancy career
Whether you’re unsure how to begin your consulting career, or you’ve already started...
Northern Business Expo / 22 Feb 2020
5 books every small business owner and entrepreneur needs
Here is a list of our top 5 books that every small business owner and entrepreneur shoul...
Northern Business Expo / 21 Feb 2020
How to keep your mind healthy whilst running a small business
One in six people who work in the UK have anxiety, depression or similar every year, and...
YorCyberSec / 20 Feb 2020
IT Support is NOT Information Security
With the many pressures facing smaller businesses, trying to reduce expenditure is alway...
Northern Business Expo / 20 Feb, 2020
keyboard_arrow_left See all news

Invoice scams targeting SME's - how to stay safe


Scammers today are not the same as 5 or 10 years ago. It’s so important to stay vigilant and learn the latest techniques they use, as it’s not always obvious even to the most tech-savvy people. 

One of the fastest rising in UK businesses are invoice scams. They can take a variety of forms, and can often be hard to spot. Just look at these stats:

 
  • 91% of cyber attacks start with a phishing email. 
  • 1 in 7 SME’s have been a victim of an invoice scam in 2019
  • 1 in 4 employees said they would double-check an invoice before paying it.

It’s vital to train staff properly and highlight the importance of double-checking or confidently asking questions, because it’s particularly difficult to claim back money you’ve paid to a scammer. Banks tend to look at it as negligence on your side, although they will look at each case. Remember, invoices can look real, be from a trusted email address or supplier, but with false bank details on. This is often hard to flag up, but one of the few ways to do so is phone the supplier yourself on a trusted number.

We’re all busy, not least dealing with our portion of predicted 306billion emails that’ll be sent this year, and by spreading their net wide, scammers need only a tiny percentage of recipients to respond to earn a lot of money. So, one of the best ways to reduce scams is to be vigilant and not fall prey to them.

Things every business should do to avoid falling victim to invoice scams:

 
  • Double-check every invoice. Always call the number you have on file for a business, not one that is on the invoice, and check the bank details are correct. Never assume that an incoming email, text or call is genuine. Scammers can get access to a phone number or email address, so sending a message to check just won’t cut it.
     
  • Take your time, and ask questions. You and all employees should feel confident asking questions if someone phones up chasing an invoice. Make sure they don’t feel under pressure to make a payment – it is better to delay the payment by an hour while you get the invoice checked than to lose money to a scammer. 13% of businesses said the person who fell victim to a scammer left the company due to the experience, so for your own mental health it’s better to be sure.
     
  • Educate yourself and your staff. One in 10 SME’s said they wouldn’t know how to spot a fake invoice, and with only a quarter of employees checking the invoice to check it’s legitimate, it’s not wonder scammers are using this method. 
     
  • Ask a colleague. Getting a second opinion on an invoice as part of the standard payment process can help you spot fake ones. Especially if the person checking is the person who made the order and knows the supplier. It will also help ease your conscience if you do fall victim, as it’s not just you who fell for it.

Report any phishing emails to the company they came from. Large companies like Paypal have a dedicated email address for you to forward suspicious emails to, to help them identify the criminals responsible and better protect their customers. 

If you do lost money to a scammer, or think you’ve been targeted, report it to ActionFraud. It’s the UK’s National Fraud and Cybercrime reporting centre and works on identifying and stopping scammers. If you see a Google Advert that is suspicious, you can also report it directly to Google.

Aside from specifically invoice scams, there are general ways to keep yourself and your business safe:

 
  • Never click a link in a suspicious email. Type it into Google if you want to check it. If you click on it or respond directly, you might inadvertently give them a whole array of data to use to track you down. They know your email is valid, they probably see your email signature, with name and contact details, they can now look you up online and the rest is history.
     
  • Never open attachments on any email you are even slightly suspicious of. A virus could well be unleashed onto your operating system, and spread through your address book. Common phishing emails include ‘here is an overdue invoice’, which can encourage businesses to open the attached ‘invoice’.
     
  • Use a VPN to secure your internet connection. Your data is encrypted and so is kept secure and safely away from hackers’ eyes.
     
  • Use multi-factor authentication. If you require a new contact to give you at least two pieces of evidence to verify their identity, which you then check, such as a physical address and landline telephone number, you should be able to weed out a spammer.
     
  • Be alert. If you’re not expecting an email from a company you trust, or the grammar or presentation of the email is bad, or you are just not sure, don’t act directly from the email. Google the company or phone number, and you’ll often see reports of scams. Contact the company directly and ask if the email originated from them. Just be aware that not everything might be as it seems.

It’s easy to understand why some recipients act first and think later – with potentially catastrophic results. But if we all stay alert, we can prosper as the web continues to evolve. To learn more about keeping your business safe why not attend the Northern Business Expo. It's the biggest business event in the North of England, offering key skills workshops, advice directly from Google, suppliers, keynotes, networking and more. Just get your free ticket online now, and come along to Manchester Central on 17th & 18th March.
Processing. Please wait.
Loading...