Protect yourself against the latest scam

28 April 2016: More than 5,000 people were deceived into sending planned payments to fraudsters' bank accounts last year leaving the genuine recipient unpaid. According to reports, the scam, which is also known as mandate or invoice fraud has seen an increase of 71% compared to 2014, with £126 million lost to fraudsters overall. 

BBC News recently reported on the rapidly growing problem of Business Email Compromise. They covered a story where the victim received an email from a company they were using to buy a wood burning stove, requesting for payment to be sent to a different bank account.

It is thought the supplier's email account had been compromised and somebody posed as them online. On this occasion the customer’s bank refunded the £2,500 as a gesture of goodwill, but in the vast majority of these cases not everyone caught out in this way will get their money back. 

Trust your instincts - if someone requests a change to payment details, be suspicious. If in doubt pick the phone up and verify the change directly. 

Keep an eye on your outgoings – if you have direct debits or standing orders for memberships or subscription services you need to stay vigil. Mandate fraudsters could send you a letter or an email from your subscription provider saying that it’s changed its bank details, so you unwittingly pay the scammer and stop receiving your subscription.

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