Businesses across the North East reported more than £2.28m in fraud losses last year.

Data obtained by RSM under the freedom of information act from ActionFraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre, show that companies across the region submitted almost 456 reports to the police about fraud during the12 months.

Nationally, the highest losses sustained by businesses resulted from incidents of cheque, plastic card and online bank fraud, followed by corporate employee fraud and mandate fraud.

The highest number of reports concerned retail fraud, committed against shops and restaurants. Such crimes would include attempting to obtain a refund for stolen goods, switching labels on clothes to obtain a cheaper price or ordering food in a restaurant and leaving without paying.

Akhlaq Ahmed, forensic partner at RSM, said: “Frauds against businesses can range from the very simple to the very sophisticated. Businesses across the region are collectively losing millions of pounds through fraud every year, much of which can be prevented by simple controls.

“Companies should be much more proactive in ensuring their defences, both online and offline, are fit for purpose. Those that don’t take action could find themselves very exposed.”


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