Average €4,000 loss to SMEs from fraud last year – Bank of Ireland research
The average loss to a small and medium enterprise here arising from fraud stood at just below €4,000 last year, according to research carried out by Bank of Ireland.
The most common way in which an SME experienced fraud was via an invoice that appeared to be from a vendor but contained amended bank account details.
Another common method was staff being contacted to make an out-of-course payment.
The bank surveyed 300 SMEs for the study as part of its ongoing business fraud awareness initiatives.
It found that over a third of SMEs here had been targetted by fraudsters in the past year.
Emails and phone calls are the channels most likely to be targeted by fraudsters, the study found, with staff emails the most likely to be compromised or targeted.
Six in ten SMEs who fell victim to fraud or attempted fraud in the past 12 months said they did not report it to their bank or Gardaí.
23% said they reported it to their business’s bank.
Work practice changes due to Covid-19 and business changes related to Brexit had left some businesses feeling more exposed to fraud, according to the research.
“Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, incidents of cybercrime and fraudulent activity affecting customers and businesses are a growing concern,” Edel McDermott, Head of Fraud at Bank of Ireland said.
“We would advise businesses to make sure their fraud prevention processes are up to date and fit for purpose in a remote-working world.”
While around three quarters of firms said they believed their business had adequate safeguards and processes in place, a similar proportion said they had not completed staff training on business fraud in the past year.