Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.

Watchdog warns of scammers targeting SMEs

scam online  x scam online  x
Emma Ryan 5 minute read

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has warned small businesses about online scammers, after a WA brokerage opened up about its own recent fraud experience.

ACCC deputy chairman Dr Michael Shaper, said the amount of scams reported has jumped nationwide, with research suggesting that SMEs are more likely to fall victim to scammers than general members of the public.

“[The issue] is right across the country and pretty evenly spread by state and territory,” he said.

“In 2011, we were getting less than 200 reports from small businesses but last calendar year, we had more than 4,500.”


Mr Schaper said defrauding cases are common in this space, due to the majority of businesses electing to go online.

“Businesses are encouraged to go online because the costs are much cheaper, you reach the customers and it’s convenient,” he said.

“However, the online environment also provides a very fertile field for scammers, much more so than the old, pre-internet age or far more manual tools.”

Mr Schaper said there are a few things that small businesses can do to decrease the risks.

“One of the things we recommend is that you have more than one person paying the bills, or at least a second person running an eye over them,” he said.


“The second thing goes without saying. Keep your IT, even the basic protection, up-to-date, have a hard-copy backup [of transactions] and keep it visibly separate.

“If there’s any requests to change a customer’s details pick up the phone and talk to them first – it’s all simple but necessary things.”

[Related: Online scammers defraud brokerage]

Watchdog warns of scammers targeting SMEs
scam online  x
TheAdviser logo

If you have ever considered how you could better service your SME clients but lack the knowledge or confidence to do this beyond referring them on, this is a must-attend event for you. Don't miss SME Broker Bootcamp, a jam-packed, free-to-attend, practical workshop. Register today and secure your place at this interactive, flexible, must-attend event.

scam online  x


more from the adviser
Finsure rebrand

Breaking News

Finsure sale clears regulatory approval

APRA has given the green light to BNK offloading its mortgage agg...

house sold

Breaking News

Hot Property: The biggest property headlines from the week 17-21 January

The weekly round-up of the biggest news stories from across Momen...

mortgage growth

Breaking News

AFG broker lodgements hit new record

Brokers aggregating under the group wrote a record $92 billion of...