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Invoice scams on the rise

26 March 2019

Savvy fraudsters are targeting UK SMEs with fake invoices, resulting in significant losses for business owners. New research from Barclays reveals one in seven (14%) of SMEs have fallen victim to an invoice scam in the last 12 months. Exclusive data from the bank also shows that a quarter (28%) of reported invoice scams resulted in losses of more than £5,000.

The bank’s figures reveal that hotspots for scams include the West Midlands, the South West, the East of England and London.

Statistics reveal that many scams could be easily avoidable – only a quarter (25%) of employees processing an invoice double-checked with a colleague before making a payment, and over one fifth (24%) said they were scammed because they trusted the email address it was sent from.

The impact of such scams on businesses and individuals is considerable, with nearly 19% of SME owners admitting that they have had to cover the full cost of the scam. Despite this, only 19% admit they have conducted invoice training for all staff to help them spot a fake invoice.

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