Over one-third of Irish SMEs have been targeted by financial fraud over the past 12 months, new research has revealed.
Of those targeted, 1 in 18 of the attempts are successful.
According to a new survey conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes and using CSO figures, a total of 4,257 companies have fallen victim to a scam in the past year.
The common types of scams used to target SMEs are Phishing emails (72%), Vishing, a phone-based phishing scam (26%) and invoice redirection scams (21%).
Although the majority of businesses (79%) recognise the potential threat of financial fraud 68% do not have fraud awareness guidelines and training in place.
Over a third of businesses involved in the survey stated that they do not confirm the legitimacy of new bank details from suppliers before they confirm payment.
Only 26% of SMEs have invested in fraud protection software in the past year.
The survey was launched today to mark the beginning of National Fraud Awareness Week which will focus this year on financial fraud prevention.
Niamh Davenport of FraudSMART said: "The research shows the extent to which SMEs are targeted by fraudsters annually. For businesses, the impact of falling victim to a financial fraud scam can be devastating.
"While businesses are aware of the threat that financial fraud poses, there appears to be complacency around putting guidelines and measures in place to combat it.
"During National Fraud Awareness Week, and indeed beyond it, I would encourage SMEs to familiarise themselves with the types of scams they can be targeted with and take the necessary precautions to protect their business."