Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

12 fraud risks of Christmas


It’s that time of the year when it’s the season to be jolly. Unfortunately, not everyone is. Here are 12 Fraud Risks of Christmas to help keep you and/or your organisation protected from fraud and bribery.

1. On the first day of Christmas, a supplier gave me a gift (or was it a bribe?)

Remind yourself and your staff of your organisation’s Gifts and Hospitality policy.  

2. On the second day of Christmas, someone sent to me, an e-card

Before getting too excited, check to see where it has come from. If it is from someone anonymous, delete it from your inbox and deleted items in case it is infected.

Make sure your anti‐virus product is up-to-date.

3. On the third day of Christmas, a member of staff gave me their expenses form

Double check to ensure all purchases and expenses are in-line with your policies. 

4. On the fourth day of Christmas, staffing shortages gave me a breakdown in the segregation of duties

Fraudsters hit at Christmas and peak holiday seasons, hoping to get past checking and authorisation controls…check drops in staffing levels do not open opportunities for fraud.

5.  On the fifth day of Christmas, a colleague gave to me, their password in case there might be any problems over the holiday period

Passwords must never be shared…never!

6. On the sixth day of Christmas, a ‘too good to be true’ offer was made for tickets to an event.  In May to October this year, over 3,000 fraudulent ticketing matters were reported to the Police (average value £444)

Always go to the official website to find a list of authorised sellers, research the company and make sure it’s their website.

Beware of previously sold out tickets that have appeared for sale and be cautious of telephone numbers starting 070 or 004470 as they can be set up on the internet and handled anywhere in the world

7. On the seventh day of Christmas, a prospective employee gave me their brilliant CV

The UK has one of the highest rates of CV fraud in the world.  Fraudsters will use seasonal demands for part-time staff/agency workers etc. to slip through pre-employment screening.

8. On the eighth day of Christmas, a supplier gave me their changed bank account details.  Mandate fraud is still a significant risk

Check, check and check again who you are dealing with.  Make sure staff (especially temporary staff) are made aware of Mandate fraud and how to prevent it.

9. On the ninth day of Christmas, someone offered me a lot of money to steal personal data so they could use it to de-fraud members of the public

Data is worth as much as cash these days…what may seem petty can be very valuable in the wrong hands.  Keep data secure and in accordance with your organisation’s IT policies.

10. On the tenth day of Christmas, a supplier gave to me, an invoice with inflated timesheets charged to it

Staffing levels drop over Christmas – some unscrupulous suppliers/contractors may see this as an opportunity to try and slip things past you.   Ensure all staff (especially temporary staff) are aware of what checks need to be made and why they are so important.

11. On the eleventh day of Christmas, I gave myself a real headache… I left my wallet/handbag and laptop unattended in a bar

It’s all too easy to let thieves steal your belongings.  If it is credit/debit cards and any electronic media, chances are, they will be used for fraudulent activities.

Keep your belonging safe – don’t take laptops etc. out with you on a night out after work.

12. On the twelfth day of Christmas, my organisation dismissed me because I ignored the above…

Trust is not a control and it’s your responsibility to ensure fraud does not happen because of your failure to adhere to policies and procedures. B’ah humbug!