Companies in the private sector are the victims of nearly one-third (31%) of total fraudulent acts* while RBS calculates that fraud cost large businesses (those with over 250 employees) £1.77m on average in 2010**.
Held in conjunction with West Midlands Police, the seminars attracted around 100 delegates from a broad range of industries and discussed the threats they face and the solutions available to help them minimise the risks of becoming a victim of fraud.
Delegates were welcomed by John Monkman, Relationship Director, RBS Corporate & Institutional Banking (CIB) and a team of police officers led by Detective Inspector Neil Postins of the Economic Crime Unit, West Midlands Police. The seminars covered some of the most common acts of fraud businesses face from within and outside of their operations. This included cheque and electronic payment fraud, employee fraud and identity fraud, plus advice on anti-money laundering.
Each session included tips and hints on how to spot fraudulent activity at an early stage and proactive advice on how to avoid fraud which were well received. One such tip was for delegates to ensure that any request to change the account details for a supplier or employee is validated by contacting the beneficiary directly using known contact details. One of the most common frauds experienced by businesses is where criminals act as a supplier or employee changing bank account details to divert payments to a fraudulent account.
DI Neil Postins, Economic Crime Unit, West Midlands Police, said: "As a force and department we are very proud to be involved in such an event. As a result of the opportunity to deliver an anti-fraud message we have hopefully armed the business community with tips and information on identifying and preventing fraud. We are sure that our partnership work with RBS will have a positive impact and prevent future victims of this type of crime."
Andy Mitchell, Regional Director West Midlands, RBS CIB, said "Fraud is a huge issue for businesses and collectively costs them billions of pounds a year. As the way companies do business evolves, so have the ways fraud can be committed. RBS takes its responsibilities seriously and believes that it is important for businesses to be alive to these changing threats. These events have been a great success and we are looking to run similarly-themed seminars in 2012."