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A man using laptop in server room

Protect your business from fraud

Learn how fraudsters can target your business

Stay alert to these types of scams  

  • Invoice fraud – scammers send fake invoices that look like they’re from suppliers
  • Impersonation scams – such as scam calls and CEO fraud
  • Purchase scams – fraudsters trick you into buying something that doesn’t exist  

Read more about the different types of fraud and how to protect your business against them. We’ve also put together some fraud resources to help you stay safe from scams.

Our quick tips

  • Don’t let your card, PIN, password or other security information be used by anyone else
  • Memorise your PIN, password and other security information – destroy original documents
  • Use strong passwords containing a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters, and numbers. Try to avoid using anything obvious like your name, username or date of birth. Use separate passwords for all your accounts and where possible use 2-factor authentication
  • Install internet security or anti-virus software and ensure that you have an active firewall
  • Only download files or programs from the internet if they’re from genuine, trusted websites or senders
  • Read our tips and advice on keeping your business digitally safe.
  • Read more about how to stay safe as your business embraces new ways of banking
  • Learn about how to protect yourself from online fraud

Webinars to support UK businesses

Our webinars aim to help protect businesses by giving real insight into important subjects. They cover critical topics from risk and security to unlocking commercial opportunities.

By clicking on the ‘Barclays Business Webinar’ link you will be taken through to a third party website1.

Scams to watch out for

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Scam calls

Fraudsters call businesses pretending to be organisations such as banks, HMRC, the police, or internet and phone companies. They usually ask staff members to

  • Provide personal or bank details
  • Make payments to another account
  • Download software that gives them control of that staff member's device and access to the business’ bank account

If you get an unexpected call, never tell them your personal or bank details such as your PINSentry codes.

Never transfer any money and don’t download any software or give them access to your device. 

Fraudsters also send emails and texts pretending to be real companies – you shouldn’t click on links or attachments that you get in unexpected emails or texts, or call any phone numbers you don’t recognise. Instead, call the person back on a trusted number you already have on file.

Invoice fraud

Fraudsters take over email addresses and intercept email conversations. They then send genuine-looking emails that ask businesses to send money to different bank accounts, and change the bank details on real invoices. The business is then conned into sending large amounts of money to a criminal’s bank account.

If you’re asked to update the bank details you have for a supplier – or if you get sent new bank details to pay an invoice – always call a contact you know, to check the request is real. Don’t reply to the email address or use the details they send you, but get in touch with someone you already know and trust.

Make sure all of the staff who work with payments know about this type of scam.   

Man holding a phone
Man and woman looking at a laptop

Purchase scams

Scammers trick businesses into buying products that don’t exist, such as vehicles, machinery or office supplies, through websites or sellers that seem genuine. The goods or services are then never received.  

If you’re planning to buy something from a new seller, make sure you research the company and check genuine customer reviews, and try to see the item in person first – providing it’s within government guidelines to do so.

Avoid making a big first-time order – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Check any documentation and serial numbers carefully to ensure what you’re buying is genuine and if there’s a good reason why the cost may be lower.

CEO fraud

Fraudsters intercept emails from directors, CEOs or other senior staff members, and pretend to be them. Scammers then ask staff members to make payments to fraudulent bank accounts.

If a colleague asks you to make a payment to new bank details, check that the request is real by calling your colleague on a trusted number you already have on file. 

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Lost or stolen card?

If your card has been lost or stolen, or you think someone else has your password, passcode or other security information, phone us straightaway2 on 0800 151 0155 or from abroad on +44 02476 842 091

Think you’re a victim of fraud?

Get in touch immediately and report it to us.

Resources

  • Check a number if you’ve been asked to call us using our phone number checker
  • Learn how to protect yourself from online fraud
  • Get impartial advice from Take Five, a national campaign that helps stop phone, email and online fraud
  • Find guidance on protecting yourself against fraud from National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the UK’s independent authority on cyber security matters
  • Read our tips and advice on cybersecurity, created with help from the NCSC