Business Fraud Hotspots

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    Business owners in today’s society have so many things to worry about, from making sales to finding the best deals using business energy comparison websites, but advancements in technology have now thrown even more factors into the mix!

    Unfortunately, over 60% of businesses in the UK admitted to experiencing fraud as of 2022. As well as being a scary experience, being the victim of fraud can cost you hundreds of thousands of pounds and this is something which nobody should have to endure.

    To reveal the areas being affected the most by fraud, we have delved into some data surrounding the state of fraud in the UK for individuals and businesses. As well as this, we have provided you with some top tips to help you protect your business from potential fraud.

    The East of England has more fraud reports than any other region in the UK - totalling 604 per 100,000 people

    Unfortunately, there have been over 200,000 reported fraud cases in the UK over the last 12 months, with some areas being affected more than others - but where does your region fare in the ranking?

    Business Fraud Hotspots

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    1. East of England – 604 fraud reports per 100,000 people

    With 604 fraud reports per 100,000 people, it is the East of England which finds itself at the top of our list. This region may not have the largest number of reported fraud cases in the top three, but when populations are taken into account, fraud affects more people here than any other area of the UK.

    2. London – 573 fraud reports per 100,000 people

    As the most populated region in our top three, it may be no surprise that London is featured in this list. With 573 fraud reports per 100,000 people, it appears that the residents here are the second most likely to experience fraud in the UK.

    3. East Midlands – 458 fraud reports per 100,000 people

    Completing our list of the areas in the UK with the highest number of fraudulent cases, totalling 458 per 100,000 people, is the East Midlands. Encompassing well-known cities including Leicester and Nottingham, this region has a lot to offer in terms of tourism. Unfortunately, this has resulted in over 1,400 consumers being taken advantage of in the form of consumer fraud.

    With an average loss of £8,865 per fraud case, people in London are losing out on the most money

    Financial loss as a result of fraud can range from hundreds to thousands of pounds, and this can differ from area to area. Below is a list of the regions in which individuals are losing out on the most money per fraud case.

    Highest average loss

    1. London – £8,865 average loss per individual fraud case

    Making its second appearance in one of our lists is London, this time taking the top spot as the UK region suffering the biggest financial loss per individual fraud case. As one of the world’s leading financial centres, it is no surprise that London has been the target of some big financial fraud cases.

    2. South West – £6,183 average loss per individual fraud case

    Next up on this ranking, with an average loss of £6,183 per individual fraud case, is the South West. Despite having the lowest overall financial loss of any UK area in our top three, the individual loss per case in this region is the second highest on our list.

    3. South East – £5,901 average loss per individual fraud case

    The third and final region to feature in our top three is the South East which has an average loss of £5,901 per individual fraud case. With over 34,000 individual fraud cases in the South East over the last year, it makes it even more shocking that the average financial loss is so high here.

    With 1,664 reports per 100,000 businesses, London has the most fraud cases in the UK

    Businesses are often the target of fraud, and with over 2 million registered businesses in the UK as of 2022, there are plenty of opportunities for fraudsters to take advantage. We have revealed which of the country’s regions have reported the most business-related fraud cases in the last 12 months.

    Business fraud cases

    1. London – 1,664 reports per 100,000 businesses

    Making another appearance at the top of one of these Business Fraud Hotspot lists is London. With over 530,000 businesses in the area, this region is full of opportunities for fraudsters to exploit. Unfortunately, this has resulted in 1,664 fraud cases per 100,000 businesses which is higher than any other region in the UK.

    2. North West – 1,484 reports per 100,000 businesses

    The North West has the second highest number of reports per 100,000 businesses in the UK. Known for its contributions to the manufacturing industry, this sector is associated with falsifying finances to extract money from businesses – this type of fraud is likely to have contributed to the 1,484 reports per 100,000 businesses.

    3. East of England – 1,249 reports per 100,000 businesses

    With 1,249 fraud reports per 100,000 businesses, it is the East of England which completes our top three list. As well as this, the region also occupies the third highest total business-related fraud reports, indicating that the East of England is currently struggling to tackle fraud.

    London businesses involved in fraud cases face an average loss of £156,986 - more than any other area in the UK

    As business gas prices continue to rise, it is more important than ever to save money where you can. Even though no business should have to lose out on money as a result of fraud, most areas in the UK have been affected in some capacity. Below is a list of the UK regions which have suffered the highest average loss in money per fraud case in the past 12 months.

    loss in money

    1. London – £156,986 average loss per business fraud case

    When it comes to business fraud in the UK, it seems that no region has been affected as much as London. As well as having the highest number of business-related fraud reports, this region is also suffering from the biggest average loss when it comes to fraud, totalling £156,986 per case.

    2. South East – £67,539 average loss per business fraud case

    Next up on our list is the South East in which businesses are losing an average of £67,539 per fraud case. Even though this total is less than half of London’s average loss per business-related fraud case, it is still a big financial loss for many businesses in the area.

    3. East of England – £33,265 average loss per business fraud case

    Averaging a financial loss of £33,265 per business-related fraud case, it is the East of England which completes this ranking. These figures are based on fraud cases which have been reported by businesses, indicating that the actual figure may even be higher.

    5 Ways You Can Help Protect Your Business From Fraud

    From the information above, it is clear that business fraud is affecting businesses all over the country. Because of this, it is more important than ever to be proactive when it comes to protecting the security of your business. Below is a selection of expert tips which can help you protect your corporation from potential fraud.

    Conduct background checks on potential new suppliers

    Suppliers are a crucial aspect of most businesses as they are responsible for the sourcing of company products and this plays an important role in the success of any business. By conducting background checks on any potential new suppliers, you can learn about any past criminal convictions and/ or factors which may make them unsuitable for your company.

    Make sure that your bank accounts are safe and secure

    This may come as no surprise, but protecting your company bank account from fraudsters is extremely important. By ensuring that your business assets are safe and secure, you can protect yourself from cybercrime fraud. In addition to this, you should also be wary of any monetary-based email scams, especially concerning businesses.

    Be sceptical when employing staff

    Fraudulent behaviour can come in many different forms, from external perpetrators to internal corruption. Although it is impossible to be sure that an applicant is 100% trustworthy, there are some things you can do to minimise the risk of hiring someone deceitful. Some examples of this include making sure to do a full background check on any future employee and double-check any references given.

    Educate existing employees about fraud

    From local businesses to worldwide chains, the safety of a company can be hard to control. By educating existing employees about the dangers of fraud and providing them with warning signs to look out for, you can help increase the protection of your business across the board.

    Perform regular business audits

    Anyone who owns a business is familiar with how important audits are when it comes to monitoring finances. As well as showing you how much your business is earning, they can also help to decipher how said money was earned. By regularly conducting audits, you can keep on top of any irregularities and deal with any inconsistencies in a prompt manner.

    Methodology

    We used NFIB (data collected on 12/05/2023) to find the number of organisation-related, fraud reports, individual fraud reports and reported losses in each area over the last 12 months.

    We used ONS data to find the number of businesses in each area as of 2022.

    We divided the number of fraud reports by the total number of businesses in each area before multiplying this number by 100,000 to calculate the number of fraud reports per 100,000 businesses. We repeated this process to find the reported loss of each area per 100,000 businesses, as well as the fraud reports per 100,000 individuals and reported losses per individual case.

    We divided the number of reported losses by the number of reports to calculate the average loss per case for both individuals and businesses.

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