Who to contact when your business is defrauded

28th January 2019

DAS Law is sponsoring the ‘Combatting Fraud’ category at the Modern Law Awards in Manchester this week. Here the firm’s Head of Litigation and Dispute Management William Ellerton shares some general advice on the first things a business should do if they believe they have been defrauded

According to credit reporting agency Experian, the threat of fraud is rising across all sectors and business types. The company’s UK and Ireland Fraud Indicator Report for 2018 put the annual cost of fraud at £190 billion, so it’s clear that businesses are exposed to the risk of fraud more than ever before. But what should you do if you find your business has been the victim of fraudulent activity?

Once you discover that your business may have been impacted by a fraud, investigating how it may have happened, and putting in place measures to prevent it happening again, will likely become the immediate focus, but business owners should consider immediately contacting the following, regardless of the size of the fraud:

Your bank

As soon as you become aware of the potential fraud against your business, this should be the first call you make. Their fraud team will start investigating it immediately and increase security on your business accounts to prevent further fraudulent transactions being completed. Depending on what has taken place, they may also start the process of potentially returning the funds.

Your insurer

Regardless of the nature of the fraud, it is imperative to contact the insurer – or broker if applicable – of your business to discuss whether you may have any insurance products in place which may be able to assist. You may find that, at the very least, you have access to general legal advice via a legal expenses insurance policy.

Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

The Serious Fraud Office deals with the most serious and complex fraud cases – those involving sums of more than £1m. If the fraud is not on this level, complaints about fraudulent activity within an organisation may be made to the Insolvency Service. The SFO can be contacted on 020 7084 4700.

Insolvency Service (IS)

If a complaint is considered serious enough, the Insolvency Service will either carry out an investigation or pass the case on to another public body. If enough evidence of wrongdoing is found, they can ask a court to either close the company down, or disqualify the directors of the company. You can reach the IS on 0300 678 0017.

Action Fraud (AF)

You can also report the matter to Action Fraud. Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber-crime. To report an instance of fraud you can contact AF on 0300 123 2040.

Companies House (CH)

It may also be appropriate to report a company to Companies House, if as part of their fraudulent activity it has committed the specific offence of filing fraudulent documents. CH can be contacted on 0303 1234 500.

This is simply a list of organisations to make contact with in the event of a fraud, but it can of course be a complex area. We would always advise you seek professional legal advice on your individual case.

Disclaimer: This information is for general guidance regarding rights and responsibilities and is not formal legal advice as no lawyer-client relationship has been created.

William Ellerton

Head of Litigation & Dispute Management, Solicitor

Learn more
How to recover bad debts from customers

Overdue debts can cause serious cash-flow issues for your business.

June 2018 Learn more
Guide to making a small claims court claim

Our guide through the process of making a claim in the small claims court, from the issuing of the N1 claim form to the appeal and enforcement.

June 2018 Learn more

Read more from the DAS Law blog

Protecting your business Fly tipping: what you need to know

Fly-tipping is the only crime where the victims (private landowners) have a legal responsibility to dispose of the waste. Mark Woodman looks at the laws around this modern day scourge.

July 2021
Accidents at work , Protecting your business How to keep your workers safe during Farm Safety Week

Mark Woodman, Solicitor at DAS Law, looks at what farmers are legally required to do to keep both themselves and their workers safe.

July 2021
Employment disputes , Growing your business , Protecting your business , Setting up a business Farming tenancies: what you need to know

Mark Woodman, Solicitor at DAS Law, looks at what farmers need to know regarding a Farm Business Tenancy.

June 2021
Protecting your business Farms and trespassing: know your rights

Mark Woodman, solicitor at DAS Law, looks at what farmers need to know about trespassing.

June 2021
Employment disputes , Protecting your business How to keep your staff and customers safe when re-opening your business

As the country continues taking steps toward a return to normal, Covid restrictions remain in place in order to allow the reopening process to be conducted as safely as possible.

June 2021
Employment disputes , Protecting your business The return to work: a guide for employers

Molly-Ellen Turecek looks at what employers need to consider when returning employees to work.

May 2021
Employment disputes , Protecting your business The Return to Work from Covid: How businesses can stay on the right side of the law

Although lockdown restrictions are easing for many businesses across the country, health & safety and social distancing measures still apply.

May 2021
Protecting your business , Setting up a business 4 things you need when you run a business from your home

Running a business from your home could make it easier to balance your home life with your work, but there are a number of extra rules that you will need to consider.

March 2021
General advice , Protecting your business 5 things you need to know about missing the 31 January self-assessment deadline

With 31 January deadline fast approaching, there are just ten days left for the UK’s 5.4m taxpayers to submit their Self-Assessment tax returnss. What can you do if you miss the deadline?

January 2021
Growing your business , Protecting your business , Setting up a business How to make business decisions ‘virtually’

The Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing bought into sharp focus the need for all organisations to consider their decision making processes.

January 2021
Employment disputes , Protecting your business 6 tips for giving your business a “spring clean”

As we slowly exit lockdown, this is the ideal opportunity to spend some time giving your business a ‘spring clean’. Hayley Marles has six tips for a clean and tidy SME.

July 2020
Employment disputes , Protecting your business Health and safety and computers

Employers need to manage the risks to their employees of working at computers for long periods of time. DAS Law’s Bethan Mack explains.

May 2020
General advice , Protecting your business , Commercial disputes Understanding the definition of defamation

Defamation can be a complex area of the law but this simple guide from DAS Law’s Damien Field will hopefully help you to understand it a little more clearly.

November 2019