Last year internet scammers were actively targeting businesses in the interior fit-out sector and reports indicates that fraudsters are targeting the sector again.

Fraud affects one in four small businesses every year and last year fraud losses to SMEs were estimated at £18.9 billion.

FIS members have reported that internet furniture scammers have been targeting UK businesses again. After a spate of incidents last year there are concerns that unsuspecting business owners could be ripped off.

“FIS members need to be aware that fraudsters appear to be targeting interior fit-out companies with plausible offers of selling furniture and we’d advise members to tighten their procedures to avoid becoming another crime statistic”, said Jane Cook operations director at FIS

“It can happen to any type of business in many different ways, and no business is too small to be targeted. This means that the revenue, reputation and long-term health of your business could be at risk unless you take action.”

Action Fraud, the agency tasked with tackling fraud, says that there are simple things companies can do to take control and help protect their business. The most important investment is to take the time to identify where a business may be at risk from fraud.

Security consultant Kevin Eastwood said: “Purchasing goods or services could put your business at risk if you don’t take precautions when choosing suppliers especially when a seemingly innocent email lands in your in box. There are many dishonest companies and fraudsters pretending to be trusted businesses, who will seek to steal if there is an opportunity.”

“Fraudsters can trick you into losing money by pretending to represent a more established business, so checking details and information are also important to be sure that your ‘supplier’ really is who they say they are. One common scam is for a fraudster to assume the identity of a known supplier.”