Types of business and agricultural scams

Invoice scams

  • Scammers pretend to be from a legitimate supplier and attempt to redirect payments for goods/services to their own account.
  • They use company logos and genuine contact details to make invoices look real.
  • Do not reply to the company through the email thread or the phone number provided as these can be fake
  • If this is a company you have dealt with before, you should use these contact details.

Phishing emails and text message scams

  • This type of scam is used to get your personal and financial details. 
  • The email or text message might ask you to visit a fake website.
  • Scammers can make the email address look like it is from a real company like an official UK Government department.
  • Do not reply to this type of email with information such as your bank sort code or account number.
  • Official UK Government or public body websites and email addresses end with 'gov.uk' and 'org.uk'

Investment scams

  • Be cautious of cold callers or emails from investment companies. 
  • Scammers are trying to tempt businesses to invest their money with offers of high financial returns.
  • They use fake websites to highlight the benefit and include testimonials from fake businesses.
  • Do your research on the company before committing to anything.

Phone scams

  • Scammers use number spoofing to make your caller display show a genuine phone number, like your bank. This can also happen with text messages.
  • If you are in doubt, hang up and call the company back after a short while using the official details on its website. 

Charity scams

  • Fraudsters pretend they represent a non-existing charity like a local hospital or place of worship and seek your help.
  • They try to appeal to businesses' corporate social responsibility framework
  • Do your research on the charity before making a donation. Do not make donations in cash.

Online auction/bidding website scams

  • If purchasing items online, the seller may message you and offer additional discount if you pay directly into their bank account.
  • Be wary if the starting price is extremely low and not in line with current market prices.
  • Never leave the online auction website when asked to make payment.

Social media scams

  • Scammers may offer business equipment or supplies at very low prices on social media.
  • They are skilled in making photographs of the items look professional. 
  • If you see an advert offering expensive items at low prices, stop and think – is this too good to be true?

Fake online ads selling items for ‘free’

  • Fraudsters post ads online for goods that do not exist. 
  • Avoid sellers online wanting to communicate by email/text message or asking for money upfront.

Public Wi-Fi

  • You should not use public Wi-Fi to access your business bank accounts or email as these are less secure than the Wi-Fi in your home or business.
  • It is an easy way for scammers to get hold of your confidential information.
  • If you are in public and need internet access, you should use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or your smartphone as a hotspot.