Well, Sergeant George Dixon of Dock Green Police Station was certainly a reassuring presence on my grandmother’s black & white TV back in the 1960s. Never saw the good Sergeant lose his temper, break into anything other than a leisurely, but dignified amble, or employ any weapon more dangerous than his notepad and pencil, but he always got his man [it was always men back in those days] and kept the community of Dock Green safe for another night.
Things have changed. The jemmy and the cosh have made way for the vish and the phish and scams of the cyber type are now all too prevalent. In the wireless age, your business is now much more likely to be ripped off by a pimply challenged teenager in his [still tends to be male-some things haven’t changed] bedroom in Nizhny Novgorod than by a rotund gentleman in a stripped jumper carrying a bag marked “swag”.
Cyber-fraud is endemic, but good old fashioned “fraud fraud” is still rising. In 2015 the Office for National Statistics [“ONS”] estimated that there were over 5 million instances of fraud in England & Wales and in addition there were also 2.5 million cyber-crime offences, such as computer hacking. Just over half of the 5.1 million frauds included in the Crime Survey data involved some financial loss, the ONS said.
So what can be done? The writer would recommend that you take a look at the following publications currently on the front page of the Metropolitan Police’s website:
- Little book of big scams-business edition
- Little book of cyber scams
These are easy to read guides that demonstrate how easy it is to find yourself on the wrong end of a fraud [Is there a right end? Ed]. In the business world, due diligence on any entity that is part of the business process, be it employee, customer, supplier, investor, or lender is essential. As the guides say
“Be sceptical, know your business inside out and take extra care on all things cyber”