Construction SMES fear fraud attack

HSBC’s Amanda Murphy
HSBC’s Amanda Murphy

Nearly two-thirds of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the construction sector believe that fraud attacks are becoming more frequent, with three quarters also claiming fraud is becoming more sophisticated, according to new research from HSBC UK.

A study of 2,000 British businesses found that 63% of construction companies believed fraud attacks were increasing in regularity, with 74% believing them to be growing in sophistication.

Four in 10 construction businesses believed fraud is an issue specifically for their company, but despite this, 44% have failed to put any fraud prevention measures in place.

HSBC UK head of Commercial Banking, Amanda Murphy, said: “It’s clear that fraud is a mounting issue for more companies in the construction sector; not only are attacks becoming increasingly regular, they are also growing in sophistication and are very difficult for companies to detect.

“There are many different types of fraud that can impact construction businesses, ranging from vishing, where the fraudster phones the company posing as bank staff or a supplier, through to invoice fraud, where the criminal tricks a company into changing the bank account details for a payment. Customers need to be on their guard, not be pressured into making payments and take time to think about who they are dealing with.”