Homes Under The Hammer presenter and ex-footballer Dion Dublin helps to raise awareness of scams

Scams targeting businesses increased by almost a third in January and February, compared to a year ago, new research suggests.

Dion Dublin

Impersonation scams were the most commonly used tactic by criminals to target businesses, said Barclays

Fraudsters pretend to be organisations or authorities in the hope they will trick victims into sharing personal or banking information or to even transfer money out of their account, said the report.

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The bank is issuing a scams warning to all businesses, but particularly those in the property and construction sector, as its study reveals that small and medium enterprises in this sector made up almost a quarter of all business scams last year.

Barclays has partnered with ex-footballer and TV presenter Dion Dublin to raise awareness of the growing dangers of fraud and scams.

Dublin said: “I’ve experienced fraudulent activity before, with criminals first trying to take £400 and then £1,600 out of my personal business account.

“Offenders know small business owners are time-poor and take advantage of busy schedules to see if they can get away with scamming people.”

John Heaver, Barclays’ head of business banking fraud, said: “Property and construction businesses often display their company details outside or near construction projects they’re working on, making it easier for fraudsters to research and target their scam.

“It’s incredibly important that business owners and their staff are aware of the different type of scams that can occur and remain vigilant at all times.”