HSBC UK is offering a mobile app to businesses to help them keep up to date with the latest scams being used by fraudsters to steal money.
The free HSBC Fraud and Cyber Awareness app is available to all businesses, not just HSBC customers, and will provide up-to-date information and alerts. It will also give advice to companies on how to avoid becoming victims.
Peter McIntyre, head of small business banking at HSBC UK Commercial Banking, said, “knowledge is power” when avoiding becoming a victim of online fraud. “It is our absolute priority to protect our customers from unscrupulous criminals who target businesses for their own financial gain, and we constantly update and evolve our processes to stop these criminals and prevent customers from falling victim to scams,” he said.
“We’ve launched this app to go one step further and help all UK businesses, not just our own customers,” he added. “We firmly believe that by arming businesses with this latest information and advice, they will be better placed to spot frauds and scams before they have parted with any of their hard-earned funds.”
HSBC UK’s commercial banking operation revealed its data on the most common scams targeted at business customers during 2020. It said those that involved people buying non-existent products and services caused average losses of £3,000 by businesses.
Meanwhile, when fraudsters pretend to be a supplier and ask businesses to change their bank details, invoice and mandate scams cost victims an average of £24,000 per case. Impersonation scams saw victims lose an average of £6,500.
The most costly to businesses were investment frauds. Although not as common, each case cost victims more than £27,000, according to HSBC data.
The app has been tested out by Kent-based SME Lucas, which does commercial property refurbishments. Managing director Danny Lucas said taking steps to defend his business against fraud is vital in today’s world. “We live in an age where cybersecurity breaches and attempts to get into our systems are daily occurrences. Every day we receive malicious emails encouraging employees to click something or ‘open here,’ and it could cause devastation to our company.
Online banking is the lifeblood of our business, and having an awareness of scams that are out there and being kept informed on new tactics is absolutely vital,” he said.
“The HSBC UK fraud app, which we’ve been testing for the last six months, has proved to be a fantastic source of intelligence for our team and provides us with an extra tool in the fight against financial crime.” Martyn Pointer, business innovation manager for HSBC, said the company worked with businesses when developing the app.
He said the bank decided to make the app available to all businesses after the trials. “The feedback from customers who have already used the app has been really positive, which led us to the decision to make this available to all businesses, whether they are customers or not, free of charge.” The HSBC Fraud and Cyber Awareness app are available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for iOS and Android users.