Fraud techniques continue to evolve as criminals look for new ways to defraud their victims. Everyone is a potential target. The below information from NatWest is designed to help you safeguard your money. NatWest want to help their customers remain vigilant and to follow best practice in order to help them safeguard their business.
NatWest are aware that customers are continuing to receive fraudulent approaches purporting to be from existing suppliers or creditors. The fraudster advises that the bank details for the settlement of future invoices should be changed.
These approaches can be made over the telephone, by letter, fax and by email. The request is not necessarily accompanied by any specific request for payment but if the request is acted on, then the next legitimate payment will be made direct to the fraudster’s account. The fraud is sophisticated in that:
• email addresses on letters use extensions similar to that of the genuine company but are in fact operated by criminals
• fraudsters telephone the company they are targeting to ask for contact names so the correct ones appear on the letter
• letters use the same logo, letterhead and style as the genuine company.
What do I need to do?
It is important that all requests for payment or to amend the bank details for the settlement of regular supplier payments or known creditors are independently validated before acting on the instruction.
• closely scrutinise all requests for payment
• contact the supplier or creditor to independently validate requests for payment or to amend bank details using contact details that are known or that have been obtained independently from the request you are seeking to validate, e.g. Directory Enquiries or existing records within your business
• do not amend any payment details until you are entirely satisfied with the authenticity of the request
• consider sending confirmation letters to the supplier or creditor to ensure that payment has been received by them
• alert those staff with access to financial systems to the above threat.
For further information about how to protect your business click here: Natwest fraud centre