Your company is developing at a fast rate and in this buoyant mood, you may be inclined to respond positively to a whole host of enquiries. It is vital, however, to keep a critical mindset and to remain on your guard against the ever-increasing threat of identity fraud. Identity theft currently represents 35% of fraud cases. Fraudsters are becoming more and more organised, and the methods used to commit frauds are becoming more and more sophisticated. Stolen assets can run into several million euros. Please find below our recommendations to enable you to protect your company.

In cases of identity theft, criminals try to scam your staff by pretending to be someone else. Just think of a new client who may be placing an order by e-mail on behalf of a normal, reliable company. Everything seems to be good. Be on your guard, however. There is one letter in the e-mail address that is different.

Fraudsters may also impersonate a manager or a director of your company and may ask an employee from the financial department to perform an urgent bank transfer. This particular form of identity fraud is also known as CEO fraud.

Given that identity fraud often involves computers and e-mails, people tend to class it as cyber fraud. There is a very clear difference, however. In order for cyber fraud to take place, your cyber security and therefore your IT systems must be breached. In the case of identity fraud, criminals will impersonate another person to deceive your employees. This is therefore a traditional form of fraud – even if it is committed online.

We asked Jean-Pierre Fekenne [JPF], Business Manager Cyber & Fraud at Euler Hermes BeLux a few questions.
[JPF] Whether the aim is to misappropriate assets, for business purposes or to harm the reputation of the target in question, identity theft is steadily on the rise, due to our society going digital. Any situation involving a crisis, such as, for example, a pandemic, presents a great opportunity for fraudsters of any type (scammers or hackers) to deceive their victims by pretending to be a person of trust and to steal strategic data or to urge them to make inappropriate payments.
[JPF] Modern criminals are now extremely professional, and through the darknet they can obtain cyberattack kits which are easy to use and also cheap. Some of these criminals are also well versed in psychology and social engineering techniques and manage to make their victims drop their guard. Financial and health crises have also increased the phenomenon of money mules, making it more difficult to track financial flows. We face a powerful ecosystem, with multiple ramifications, and criminal patterns that take various forms. We note, for example, that company directors are especially targeted because they hold the key to payments or to the strategic data of their company (spear phishing). Attempts at fraud are particularly prevalent during the holiday periods too.
[JPF] Any type of organisation can become the target of identity fraud, private and public companies, big companies as well as SMEs, as soon as they have high visibility on the internet, and if they are relatively poorly protected. We have noted that big companies are starting to pay more attention to this, and are conducting internal awareness campaigns, whereas many small companies, and family-run groups, believe that they are still safe.
[JPF]Companies urgently need to take more preventive action, by systematically training and testing their staff, particularly the latest recruits, but also the sales staff, purchasing and HR departments. In addition to new software and cyber protection tools, a fraud insurance company can teach you handy hints and tips to thwart fraudsters, and can compensate you if a fraudster nevertheless managed to circumvent your internal procedures.

Whether the fraud is committed either internally or externally from your company, the financial losses will generally have a major impact on the company. With our fraud insurance, you will be protecting your company against financial losses incurred as a result of internal or external fraud.

In addition, we offer you the most extensive fraud insurance available on the market. It will protect your assets and cover you for losses incurred by fraud. Not only financial losses but also damage to systems and attempts to harm your company’s reputation.

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