The findings, which will be announced at a joint NatWest and National Trading Standards event at Portcullis House today, show invoice fraud is the most expensive scam for businesses in NatWest’s rankings of the most common scams.
It occurs when a business receives an invoice that appears to be from a trusted trading partner but it is actually fake. The fraudster typically says that payment arrangements have changed and that the customer should pay the outstanding balance to the new account, which is operated by the fraudster rather than belonging to the trusted trading partner.
NatWest says since the beginning of 2016 almost 7000 customers have been the victims of scams, with ‘goods not received’ scams (when a customer pays for goods but does not receive them) the most common.
The lender is encouraging MPs to become Scambassadors – a feature of National Trading Standard’s ‘Friends Against Scams’ initiative, tasked with raising awareness of safe financial behaviours in their local community.
Les Matheson, NatWest chief executive officer personal and business banking, said: “We know scammers can be convincing and they work round the clock to persuade their victims to part with money. We have hundreds of people working 24/7 to detect and stop fraud, but it’s very important that, as individuals and businesses, we know how to protect ourselves. We provide security advice to our customers regularly and today we want to build a network of Scambassadors that will encourage customers to think about their financial security”.