An email sent from a director
An email which appears to be sent from a business owner or a director is sent to the bookkeeper, the purchase ledger clerk or the individual making payments. It would be written in a similar style to an email typically written by the director (the fraudsters would have been spying on the emails written by the director in order to ascertain the right email tone) it would request an immediate payment to be made, with the email containing the amount and bank account details. These emails often stress a level of urgency insisting that the director is going into a meeting and they would like the payment making by the time they are out of the meeting. Not true.
The interception of a purchase order
We have seen several instances where a supplier will genuinely attempt to send an invoice to a customer, but this will have been intercepted by the fraudster and the bank account details will have been changed. Chris Langrick says:
It is IMPERATIVE that where bank account details have been changed or a new supplier is taken on that the supplier is PHONED to verify the bank details, you must ask them to confirm their bank account details to you in order to cross check these to the details on the invoice.
HOWEVER do not ring the telephone number on the invoice, as this could have also been changed, always check your records or the supplier’s website and ring the phone number you see there.
It is not always fraud
Recently a few clients have received letters from the ICO (The Information Commissioners Office) requesting them to register and pay a fee (usually around £40 for a small business), where some businesses thought they might have not needed to register with the ICO and therefore assumed the letter was another scam, it actually transpired that it did apply to them due to the business having CCTV in operation.
Banks are taking less and less responsibility for fraud and this is often leaving businesses out of pocket by thousands of pounds, you can never be too careful, check and double check again before making any payments online or over the phone.