5,000 victims fooled by fraudsters during 2015
It has been reported that more than 5,000 people were conned by fraudsters last year into sending planned payments to false bank accounts.
Those who became a victim to the scam were tricked by emails, which required them to transfer money into the accounts of criminals, leaving the actual and genuine recipient unpaid.
Police figures show that 5,480 similar cases were recording during 2015 compared to 3,206 the previous year. The scam, also know as ‘mandate’ or ‘invoice’ fraud is up 71% on 2014 figures. Total loses throughout the UK were £126 million.
Police have advised that people need to be cautious of any persistent emails that suggest money to be paid into a bank account where the payment details have changed.
The scam can occur one of two ways:
Spying on emails:
The IT systems within a company can be infected with a malware, which allows criminals to spy on emails they are sending. The criminals then use this information to contact customers.
Impersonating someone else:
This is where the fraudster pretends to be someone senior within a company and emails a junior member of staff requesting a business payment to be made. This is known as CEO fraud.
In response to the figures Commander Chris Greany from City of London Police said:
“Sadly email is just not safe and you cannot trust it all the time. People need to be suspicious of emails that ask for payments, especially if they are persistent and present new bank account details.
“The best thing for any individual to do is to pick up the phone and speak to the business they are dealing with.”
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