Criminals are using the Coronavirus as a cover story to trick you into parting with your business’ money or information. Always take a moment to Stop, Challenge and Protect before making any payments or sharing any information. STOP CHALLENGE PROTECT With phishing emails pretending to be from government departments offering Covid-19 financial assistance to text messages impersonating your CEO, it’s never been more important to not let your guard down and keep your business safe from fraud and scams. Criminals are experts at impersonating people, businesses and the police.

They spend hours researching your business for their scams, hoping you will let your guard down for just a moment. Follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign and Stop, Challenge, Protect when being asked for your business’s money or information. Avoid clicking on links within text messages or emails and always log into your business’s bank account to update information or make any legitimate payments If you think your business has fallen for a scam, contact your business’s bank immediately using a number you know to be correct, such as the one on the back of your business’s bank card, their website or on a statement You can forward suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov. uk and suspected scam texts to your business’s mobile network provider by forwarding them to 7726.

If a scam text claims to be from your business’s bank then you should also report it to them Be cautious of unsolicited approaches presenting your business with financial assistance. You can check the British Banker’s Association for a list of accredited lenders Confirm urgent payment requests directly with the sender in person or over the phone Question uninvited approaches and contact companies directly using a known email or phone number Don’t give anyone remote access to your computer following a cold call or unsolicited text Confirm supplier bank details directly with suppliers using their established on-file details before any payments are made

Make sure you don’t step outside your usual payment method even if it’s urgent When paying someone for the first time, transfer a small amount first and check payment has been received directly by the company Where possible, send confirmation of payment to service providers once their invoice has been paid. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT TAKEFIVE-STOPFRAUD.ORG.UK

To help protect your learners against fraudulent online activity, why not offer one of our digital skills / digital technologies programmes, visit eta-awards.com/digital or call 01257676457