Scams aimed at Businesses

There are a range of scams targeted at businesses, where scammers will use deliberately misleading sales techniques to persuade businesses to part with their money. Common scams include publishing, advertising and directory scams, unnecessary services and unsolicited goods scams, advance-fee fraud, and investment scams.

Scammers use similar techniques across the whole range of scams, and across the range of victims they are targeting. If a business understands the scammers' techniques and is aware of the common types of business scam, it can minimise the risk that it will be caught by a scam.

These scammers are usually difficult to track down; they operate both in and out of the UK (more often the latter), which makes any potential enforcement action very challenging. It is therefore preferable for businesses to be aware of and be able to avoid these scams in the first place.

Business Companion provide detailed advice for businesses on how to spot a scam and then avoid getting caught out by them. They also provide a list of the types of scams that specifically target businesses.

Covid-19 Scams

Malicious email attachments, false government grant phone calls and CEO impersonation scams are among a raft of scams undermining businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The increasing risk has led National Trading Standards to launch Businesses Against Scams – a free online training tool to protect businesses, employees and customers from costly scams.

It is a simple toolkit that businesses can use to help train their employees on how to spot certain types of scams that are more prevalent within businesses due to the current pandemic sweeping the UK. It contains a ten minute awareness session (PowerPoint) with examples of these scams, how to spot them, the effects of falling victim and how to report them along with a number of other useful resources that businesses can use to keep the message alive. All of the information and resources can be found at the Businesses Against Scams website.

Get Safe Online the leading authority in online safety and security have also put some information together  to help businesses avoid and reduce the risks of cyber threats.

Page last reviewed: 14 November 2022