Test Successful businesses and brands are an attractive target for fraudsters. Information about your organisation may be available to the general public via your own website from testimonials or external sites (e.g. Companies House, internet sites, directory enquiries etc). It is therefore essential to make sure you know who you are dealing with at all times.
Fraudsters are targeting post, in particular invoices and cheques. Regular invoices between suppliers, contractors and other third parties are just as vulnerable as cheques. Look out for the following tell-tale signs:
- The fraudster may initially telephone a company and ask for a contact name who they can send the invoice to.
- A written request will be sent (this will appear in order and seemingly from a known supplier, contractor, etc) advising you that they have changed their bank account details used to receive regular payments.
- The request is usually on headed paper which appears authentic.
- The details for the Company Secretary, Finance Director or other officials, including their signature, will appear correct. This information has likely been copied from the company’s Annual Report and/or web site.
- Email addresses used by the fraudsters are very similar to the genuine suppliers, contractors and other third parties
How you can protect your business
Undertake an independent check with the company who is asking for their bank details to be changed, using a known contact telephone number and not the one on the letter.
Initiate the same process as above for any new payments.
Do not publish your bank account details on the internet (the site may get cloned and genuine customers may end up sending monies to the fraudsters’ account).
Ensure that information is not disclosed to third parties who are not entitled to receive it or who cannot be suitably verified.