Thieves like regular payments best of all. It’s so convenient; they send a request for you to change the bank details for invoices by post or email. It looks like it’s from a genuine customer or supplier, or even someone from inside your company. Then, they get your money, leaving your customer or supplier wondering what’s happened. Losses in the U.K. from scams like this are reported to be over 150 million pounds.
So what are you looking for? A company logo which looks blurred, because the fraudster has used a scanned copy of the headed paper. Email addresses are also easy to spoof, so you could be getting an email that seems to come from you boss, but actually comes from a fraudster. So look out for email addresses looking odd, like the email address now ends in “.org,” “.co,” or “.uk,” or unusual requests for quick payment.
You can protect yourself by being vigilant. Reach for the phone rather than email, and confirm a request to change bank details with your usual contact. And verbally confirm requests for changes or urgent payments that come from your colleagues, too. Make sure everyone who deals with invoices checks them carefully and knows what to do if they detect something odd. Think about setting up a designated point of contact in companies to which you make regular payments. And tell your customers and suppliers about this type of fraud.