Business fraud can happen in almost countless ways, but it usually involves illegal or dishonest activity where someone exploits a business or takes advantage of either an individual or an entire company.
To report business fraud, you should:
- Contact The Insolvency Service, if the business involved is a limited company.
- If the business isn’t a limited company, or you aren’t sure, contact Action Fraud.
Because it’s such a complex issue, if you suspect business fraud it’s a good idea to speak to a professional as soon as possible. Get in touch to discuss your circumstances with one of our expert advisers. We’ll listen to your concerns and will look to see how we can help you.
What is business fraud?
Business fraud can involve dishonest business transactions, disputes about contracts or misrepresentation of a company’s profile or service.
There are many different ways it can be committed, and business fraud can impact anyone from a single employee to an entire organisation. We have a resources dedicated to helping you understand how business fraud might affect you.
What should I do if I suspect business fraud?
Because business fraud can have a detrimental impact on those who are affected by it, it’s important to report it as soon as possible so it can be investigated by a legal body. Depending on what you suspect has happened and which organisations have been involved, there different ways to report business fraud.
How to report business fraud relating to a limited company
A limited company in an organisation that has its own set of assets and legal identity, meaning it’s not tied to the personal finances of its owners or shareholders.
If you have suspicions about the way a limited company has been run, or about the people who are involved in running it, contact The Insolvency Service. It covers issues that involve:
- Illegal activity (such as fraud)
- Harm caused by the company to suppliers or customers
- Internal misconduct (e.g. misuse of assets, suspicious irregularities)
The issue you raise shouldn’t be based solely on an internal dispute or concerns surrounding debt. For The Insolvency Service to investigate, there should be some public interest regarding your concerns. Your complaint shouldn’t be based just on personal reasons.
To report suspected fraud to The Insolvency Service:
- Use the online complaints form
- Telephone: 0300 678 0017
- Write to: Intelligence Hub
Investigations and Enforcement Services
3rd Floor Cannon House
18 Priory Queensway
If your complaint is justified, it’ll be investigated or referred to another qualified organisation. Depending on the outcome, the potentially fraudulent business could be taken to court and shut down, the directors could be dismissed or a criminal investigation could be launched.
Other ways to report business fraud
If you have concerns about fraud but aren’t sure if it falls into the jurisdiction covered by The Insolvency Service, you can report to Action Fraud.
Action Fraud is the UK’s central national fraud reporting centre, based within the City of London Police. It works alongside the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to identify and investigate various types of fraud, from personal scams to corporate fraud.
There are many ways you can report business fraud to Action Fraud:
- Report it online
- Telephone 0300 123 2040
- If your business has been impacted by several instances of fraud, you can use Action Fraud’s Business Reporting Tool to raise multiple complaints. Before using the tool, make sure you know what type of fraud you’re reporting, alongside the Home Office Counting Rules for Fraud
Make a note of your police crime reference number – you can use it to check the progress of your complaint.
Business fraud is a serious offence that can have a negative effect on everyone who has a stake in a business. If you have concerns about suspicious activity surrounding a business or want to safeguard against it, get in touch with our experts, who will be able to answer your questions and advise you on what you should do next.