More than 100 people have attended a Lisburn workshop to discuss the latest methods to prevent fraudsters impacting on business.
According to the PSNI, last year over 2,000 occurrences of fraud were recorded in Northern Ireland.
The Ulster Bank-hosted event, held in the Lagan Valley Island, gave attendees an opportunity to learn how to spot and prevent online fraud and cheque fraud. They were also shown how to spot counterfeit notes and advised on common scams to be aware of and current theft techniques.
Attendees were addressed by Justice Minister David Ford, who discussed the importance of fraud prevention.
David Ford said: “As chair of the Organised Crime Task Force, I hear regularly of the financial loss and damage to reputation suffered by businesses because of fraud. Steps taken towards prevention are enormously important and can avoid expensive reparation work by businesses. Not operating online is simply not an option in today’s world. The only option is to learn how to protect ourselves through the use of electronic firewalls and software and also by educating staff and customers. Everyone has a role to play.”
Also speaking were Beverley Burns (Trading Standards), Maxine Fraser (Retailers Against Crime) and Tim Mitchell (Get Safe Online).
Richard Donnan, Head of NI at Ulster Bank, said: “Part of being successful in business involves managing risks as well as spotting new opportunities. We’re committed to providing information and practical support that can help our customers protect themselves and their business assets. By creating this opportunity for networking and discussion, we hope to provide a platform for engagement between local businesses and the industry bodies that have the knowledge and expertise to help them enhance their safety.”
Alderman Allan Ewart, Chairman of the Council’s Development Committee, added: “Over recent years there has been an increase in the local economy in terms of employment and investment. It is very important for the Council and the Ulster Bank to work in partnership with local businesses to ensure that they have the information and tools required to fight fraud. The conference highlighted the importance of being proactive and investing in measures to protect your company from fraudsters as the cost of prevention is significantly less than the cost of curing fraud if it occurs.”