HSBC UK launches scam protection app for all businesses

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It is the first of its kind to be offered by a UK high street bank. Fraud costs the UK private sector more than £140 billion a year, latest crime figures show.

Research from HSBC UK Commercial Banking found the most common scams targeted at business customers last year were:

  • Purchase scams, where non-existent products and services were sold, with an average of £3,000 lost by businesses in each case.
  • Invoice and mandate scams, costing victims an average of £24,000 per case.
  • Impersonation scams which saw average losses of £6,500 per case.

Investment scams were fewer but the most damaging with each case costing victims more than £27,000.

With the app businesses will get information about new and emerging scam types which often take advantage of global and national news and events, something the pandemic has highlighted.

As well as sending users notifications on new scams and fraud tactics, the free app will include advice and tips on how to avoid falling victim and provide real-life accounts from customers. 

Peter McIntyre, head of Small Business Banking for HSBC UK Commercial Banking, said: “It is our absolute priority to protect our customers. We’ve launched this app to go one step further and help all UK businesses, not just our own customers. Knowledge is power and we want to help businesses be as prepared as possible to stop these fraudsters in their tracks. 

“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 funds.”

Danny Lucas, executive chairman and managing director of Lucas, a leading fit out and finishing company based in Kent, has been piloting the app and makea fending off fraud a priority. 

He explains: “We live in an age where cyber security breaches and attempts to get into our systems is a daily occurrence. 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.

“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, HSBC UK business innovation manager, led the app’s development. “We’ve worked closely with businesses every step of the way to make sure the app provides them with the information and advice they need to help prevent fraud,” he added.

“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 is now available from Apple App Store and Google Play Store for iOS and Android users. For more info  www.business.hsbc.uk/en-gb/fraud-hub.

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