Business email compromise (BEC) fraud attacks soared 58% over the past year, possibly affecting as many as half a million SMEs, according to new Lloyds Bank data.
The high street lender claimed that smaller UK firms are losing on average £27,000 per scam to impersonation fraudsters.
Law firms are most affected (19%), followed by HR, IT workers and finance companies.
However, the true scale of the challenge could be even greater, as one in 20 victims apparently hide their mistakes from colleagues for fear of being fired.
Half of respondents to the study claimed that scammers tried to impersonate the CEO, but even more (52%) posed as suppliers, highlighting the challenge facing organisations keen to shut down this growing risk.
By Phil Muncaster
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