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Avoiding Money Laundering

Small businesses are a soft target for fraudsters who want to launder the proceeds of crime.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has warned that small business are being targeted with a new type of scam. This involves overseas "investors" tricking victims into laundering money.

Usually the scam will start with an email or phone call from the fraudsters, who claim they are interested in "investing" in new start-up companies in the UK. The fraudsters build trust over time, and make sure they keep under the cash limits that would cause the banks to question the transactions.

Money laundering is a crime and business owners can be jailed.

Protection and Prevention advice:

  • Treat unsolicited email or messages from people offering to invest in your business with extreme caution.
  • Do not share your financial details with anyone you don't know and trust, especially if its a contact initially made via a unsolicited email.
  • Ensure you conduct thorough research on any potential investor before accepting any money. Check the company is correctly registered in the country they operate in. Any UK PLC, LTD and LP businesses can be checked at Companies House.
  • If you have been or suspect you may have been a victim of a scam, report it to Action Fraud. call 0300 123 2040 or visit Action Fraud.