Businesses reported £682m of fraud in 2018-19

Businesses are being urged to do more to protect themselves from fraud as new figures show that business losses reported to Action Fraud reached £682m last year.

The data, obtained by RSM from Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre, has been released to coincide with International Fraud Awareness Week. 

They reveal that businesses submitted 59,192 reports about fraud in 2018-19, with an average loss of around £11,500 per case. 

The highest losses resulted from corporate employee fraud (accounting for £214m in losses), followed by mandate fraud (accounting for almost £100m in losses). Mandate fraud occurs when an employee is tricked into redirecting a regular payment mandate to a fraudster's account. 

Tim Merritt, fraud and forensics partner at audit, tax and consulting firm RSM said: ‘The amounts being lost by business to fraud are eye-watering, but the figures probably underestimate total losses as unidentified frauds cannot necessarily be quantified. 

'While some larger businesses are able to absorb the impact of fraud, for smaller and mid-sized firms, the effects can be more severe, even putting the future viability of the business at risk.  

'Preventing fraud need not be arduous or expensive. A robust anti-fraud and bribery policy supported by the right training, business processes and controls can be very effective.’

Fraud losses reported to Action Fraud by businesses in 2018-19 
Fraud type Grand total
NFIB8A - Corporate Employee Fraud
£213,689,808.72
NFIB90 - None of the Above
£104,451,405.28
NFIB5D - Mandate Fraud
£99,283,213.89
NFIB5A - Cheque, Plastic Card and Online Bank Accounts (not PSP)
£98,087,458.36
NFIB3D - Other Consumer Non Investment Fraud
£25,874,309.20
NFIB2E - Other Financial Investment
£23,864,760.86
NFIB3G - Retail Fraud
£18,725,960.88
NFIB52C - Hacking - Social Media and Email £11,287,606.71
NFIB9 - Business Trading Fraud
£10,903,868.74
NFIB19 - Fraud by Abuse of Position of Trust £10,122,506.73
NFIB5B - Application Fraud (excluding Mortgages) £8,419,080.76
NFIB52A - Hacking - Server £7,545,599.68
NFIB3A - Online Shopping and Auctions £7,025,422.10
NFIB8B - Corporate Procurement Fraud £4,489,635.94
NFIB6A - Insurance Related Fraud £4,418,288.93
NFIB1H - Other Advance Fee Frauds £4,038,188.61
NFIB10 - False Accounting £3,885,116.51
NFIB17 - Other Regulatory Fraud £3,008,167.21
NFIB14 - Fraudulent Applications for Grants from Government Funded Organisations £2,466,766.95
NFIB1J - Lender Loan Fraud £2,132,885.75
NFIB5E - Dishonestly retaining a wrongful credit £2,099,017.72
NFIB50A - Computer Virus \ Malware \ Spyware £2,022,959.81
NFIB3C - Door to Door Sales and Bogus Tradesmen £1,534,085.91
NFIB52B - Hacking - Personal £1,350,428.84
NFIB18 - Fraud by Failing to Disclose Information £1,305,557.22
NFIB11 - Bankruptcy and Insolvency £1,302,115.40
NFIB52E - Hacking Extortion £1,258,008.13
NFIB5C - Mortgage Related Fraud £1,157,151.16
NFIB3E - Computer Software Service Fraud £818,683.51
NFIB3B - Consumer Phone Fraud £797,167.63
NFIB7 - Telecom Industry Fraud (Misuse of Contracts) £762,909.83
NFIB52D - Hacking - PBX / Dial Through £714,432.86
NFIB6B - Insurance Broker Fraud £427,028.48
NFIB4B - Fraudulent Applications for Grants from Charities £419,323.61
NFIB1C - Counterfeit Cashiers Cheques £392,262.28
NFIB1G - Rental Fraud £249,515.52
NFIB1A - "419" Advance Fee Fraud £228,238.09
NFIB1D - Dating Scam £215,769.53
NFIB16C - Pension Liberation Fraud £200,000.00
NFIB51A - Denial of Service Attack £160,930.87
NFIB16B - Pension Fraud committed on Pensions £144,683.41
NFIB2A - Share sales or Boiler Room Fraud £136,170.48
NFIB1E - Fraud Recovery £106,392.00
NFIB13 - Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) Fraud £105,200.00
NFIB16A - Pension Fraud by Pensioner (or their estates) £104,904.04
NFIB3F - Ticket Fraud £76,324.75
NFIB2C - Prime Bank Guarantees £70,000.00
NFIB4A - Charity Fraud £47,893.55
NFIB51B - Denial of Service Attack Extortion £37,447.33
NFIB1B - Lottery Scams £17,248.00
NFIB15 - HM Revenue & Customs Fraud (HMRC) £14,950.00
NFIB12 - Passport Application Fraud £0.00
NFIB1F - Inheritance Fraud £0.00
NFIB20A - DVLA Driving Licence Application Fraud £0.00
NFIB2B - Pyramid or Ponzi Schemes £0.00
NFIB2D - Time Shares and Holiday Club Fraud £0.00
Grand Total £681,996,851.77