Beware criminal scam offering computer repairs: Look out for tell-tale signs

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Criminals spend hours researching businesses for their scams, hoping they will let their guard down for just a moment. With limited resources and turbulent economic conditions, businesses usually prioritise innovation, growth, and survival over due diligence, internet controls, and risk mitigation, which leaves them particularly vulnerable to fraud. Do you have a question for our scam experts? Please email [email protected] and include the word “scam watch” in the subject line. Unfortunately, we can’t respond to every email.

Business fraud can come from anywhere: internal staff, customers, suppliers, or unconnected third parties.

Common business scams include:

  • Publishing, advertising, and directory scams
  • Impersonation scams
  • Advance-fee fraud, and
  • Investment scams
  • Ransomware and tech support scams

Impersonation fraud

Businesses have seen an increase in impersonation scams from criminals pretending to be HMRC or Government agencies.

Businesses may be contacted by phone, email, or post by criminals seeking their business’s financial information or stating a refund is owed.

This is a way of harvesting business details so they can be re-targeted for other scams and fraud.

Mandate fraud

In 2019, UK Finance reported that businesses had lost over £82m to invoice/mandate fraud.

A business will receive a request out of the blue to change the bank details of an existing supplier, or businesses will be contacted and supplied with a false invoice that is under the authority limit.

This makes it more likely to be paid.

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Tech Support Scams

With more people working remotely and IT systems under pressure, criminals may impersonate well-known companies and offer to repair devices.

Businesses may receive a phone call or email offering to fix an issue such as a slow connection or software problem.

A business may be asked to make an advance payment, share login details or download software.

Criminals are trying to gain access to the computers or get passwords and login details.

The caller will try to instill a sense of panic and demand payments to fix issues that don’t exist.

If you are in business remember:

Be cautious of unexpected, urgent requests for payment by text. Criminals can spoof phone numbers of senior members of staff making it look legitimate.

If you receive a request to make an urgent payment or change supplier bank details, take a moment to stop and think.

Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as the result of a cold call.

Genuine companies would never contact you out of the blue and ask for financial information, passwords, or login details.

Follow internal procedures for approving new payments and be suspicious of requests to deviate from this.

Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.

For Love or Money: Victim confronts her scammer on the phone

Q1. How do I train my staff to be vigilant?

Protect your business today by joining Businesses Against Scams at You will then be able to access free materials to train your staff on what to look out for.

Tip of the week:

If you think that your company has been scammed then you should report it to the bank as soon as the discovery has been made, they may be able to stop the payment.

Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via If you are in Scotland, please report to Police Scotland directly by calling 101 or Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000.

STOP others being cybercrime victims by reporting scams and suspicious emails. Forward the scam email to [email protected] Use Rightly to stop fraudsters from sharing your data and exposing you to scams.

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