Be aware of fraud this summer!

After a long and cold spring, the warm weather is finally here. As the temperature rises and the days grow longer, attempted fraud is also on the rise. The crooks and fraudsters try to exploit the fact that we, like many other companies, employ summer substitutes who have less experience that our regular staff. IT-related fraud is increasing, both in the form of phishing mail, where the sender wants us to click on links so as to be able to attack us, and as false invoices via e-mail or normal mail.

We are being bombarded with information about how we should be on guard when it comes to fraud. Both corporate fraud and, not least, how we should protect ourselves as individuals. The methods used are becoming increasingly refined and calculated. Through Linkedin, their own websites and other forums, they can learn how a company functions and what its organisation looks like so as to be able to attack the “right” persons. Last autumn, I visited Eurofinance in Barcelona, where a lot of the focus was on just this. For example, hackers have succeeded in taking over switchboards in order to be able to connect callers to fraudsters and crooks who, for example, verify the changes in banking information.

What can we do to protect ourselves?

The first step is to raise your awareness of the problem and include cybersecurity questions from the start. This will make every process more secure and it will be simpler to handle any attempted fraud.

Don’t be afraid to check information. If you receive an e-mail about an urgent payment or a change in your banking information, phone your contact person and verify. A payment is never that urgent or important that you don’t have time to check.

At Stena Line, we now have a new weapon in the hunt for fraudsters and crooks and which I believe will prove to be very useful in the future – our robots. They can help us to see patterns and perform smart automatic checks. One example is checking bank giro numbers against a company’s corporate identity number, another is carrying out an extra check to see if an account number differs compared with the last 10 or 100 payments. If the robots find something, a manual check has to be carried out.

In the end, what is most important is that we ourselves are observant and follow our gut feeling. If you suspect that something is not right, always report it.

I wish you all a fantastic summer with lots of sun and relaxation.


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