We have seen many cases of bank mandate fraud and they all follow a similar pattern. Understanding this pattern and being aware of the warning signs is pivotal to avoid being duped by fraudsters.
We share the steps you can take to prevent such a fraud. Or, if you think you are already the victim of bank mandate fraud, there is immediate action you can take to stop it going any further.
Note: We have provided a transcript of the discussion in this video if you are unable to watch the video version. This transcript is generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers and may contain errors.Stephen Ross (00:04 - 02:21): Bank mandate fraud. The cases we've seen recently follow a familiar pattern. Step one fraud has hijacked the identity of third party organisations or individuals with whom you have financial dealings. Often this is done by hacking into their emails. Step two using the stolen identity, they instruct you to make payments for goods or services is that you're expecting to pay for, but to a different bank account, often at the same branch with a slightly different account name. You don't really suspect anything's wrong. Step three you make the payments to the new false bank account. Step Four when the third party eventually contacts you to chase the payment which it's not received, the fraud is unearthed.
You may still owe the third party for goods or services. The warning signs are any email or letter, seemingly from an organisation you deal with regularly, asking you to send payments to a different bank account, even at the same branch, even if it's from an email address you recognise or the letter appears to be on the right letter head with the right sort of signature. This could be a fraud. Fraudsters can generate emails or documents which look very convincing. So what can you do? We suggest you urgently review your anti fraud measures, including always confirm change of bank account requests with the company or individual making the change using existing contact details, not those on the letter or email requesting the change. Set up designated individual contacts with companies to whom you make regular payments. Instruct staff with responsibility for paying invoices to check for irregularities and raise a red flag, remembering that contact details on the invoice may not be genuine. Following payment of an invoice phone or send a quick email to your contact at the beneficiary company informing them it's been made for security reasons. Do not give details of this account. What should you do if you believe you're the victim of this fraud?
Number one, phone your bank immediately. There may be a slim chance they can freeze the fraudulent account before the money disappears. Number two report this to action fraud or the police through their website or on the phone to get a crime reference. Number three contact us immediately. We may be able to persuade the bank to put a stop on the account, and we can advise you on how to recover the money and help you deal with the police.