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Prepared for phishing?

At the time of writing, reports are swirling around the media about the hacking and release of the personal health records of international athletes. Reportedly the hackers gained access to the information through the use of a targeted phishing scam.

The targeting of the world anti-doping agency in this way should act as a warning to all businesses that the scammers are out there and they are looking for ways to access your data. Worryingly, despite all the warnings from various agencies, it appears that businesses are still very vulnerable when it comes to this type of attack.

In fact, in a recent phishing survey of senior individuals within SMEs by Conosco just six individuals came out with clean sheets, indicating that 98% of SME executives could be vulnerable to one or more phishing attempts. On the plus side, 70% of individuals got more than half the answers right, but that still leaves the way open for multiple scam attacks.

The survey highlights the importance of continuing vigilance backed up by appropriate training with the simplest rules being:

  • your bank, finance house, tax official et cetera will never ask for banking information such as your account number
  • if you receive change of bank details from a supplier, check with them on the phone before acting on the information
  • if you don’t know who an email is from, don’t open it

If you would like to speak to a tax adviser in Covent Garden, London about maximising tax efficiencies for SMEs, please contact Newshams Tax Advisers on +44 (0) 20 3151 0650 or email us at