How to report corporate fraud in the UK
Fraud can take on many faces, and occur over many different platforms. However, most fraudsters hide under a cloak of anonymity to steal money, trade with a false identity or gain access to important company information. If your company has been a victim of corporate fraud, there are effective means of tracking down even anonymous criminals and it’s always advisable to report an incident of fraud to reduce your own vulnerability and the vulnerability of other companies.
Speak to Action Fraud
Your first port of call should be Action Fraud – the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre. In a short visit to the website, you can file an incident of fraud using their simple online reporting tool. You can also speak with an online adviser or call a member of the team to talk through your concerns.
Your report will automatically be filtered to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), which is a centralised City of London Police investigation department. To help police get to the bottom of an issue quickly and effectively, it will help if you report as much of the following detail as possible:
- Context of the fraud incident;
- The name of the suspected fraudster (where possible);
- Any web address or contact details associated with the fraudster; and
- Your own contact details.
The role of Companies House
If your concern over corporate fraud is involving another company, you may be able to get some information about the business from Companies House – the UK’s company incorporation headquarters and an executive branch of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). While they don’t have any investigatory authority, the public files stored at Companies House are available to everyone who wants to know more about a particular company.
If you suspect any of the following crimes, you can also report these to Companies House:
- Unapproved Registered Office changes;
- Unapproved company officers;
- Unpermitted company name changes; and/or
- Publication of invalid company or company officer addresses.
When reporting fraud to Companies House, it’s important that you also report the incident to the police.
The role of the Insolvency Service
In some instances, it may also be appropriate to speak with the Insolvency Service – another BIS executive agency. Its team is responsible for investigating limited companies suspected of corporate abuse within the business or within external business relationships. The Insolvency Service has the power to render any company insolvent if they’re guilty of behaviour-related fraud such as scams, money laundering, serious misconduct or sharp practice.
Don’t be a silent victim of corporate fraud. By reporting your professional concerns and losses, you play an important role in preventing illegal practice in the workplace and promoting a safer business environment across all sectors.
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