PCC Mark Shelford is encouraging local people to spot the signs of Payment Diversion Fraud (PDF) in order to protect their businesses.
PDF, also known as Business Email Compromise (BEC) or Mandate Fraud, affects businesses and customers where electronic financial transactions are taking place.
Criminals will contact businesses or customers via email, usually claiming to be from a company that the business or customer has been dealing with. They will request a payment to be made often or inform the recipient of a change of bank account details.
Criminals will often create fake email addresses that are very similar to genuine business or customer addresses and send over fake invoices to make it more believable. All of this leads to payments from businesses and customers directly into bank accounts controlled by the criminals.
“Criminals are experts at impersonating people and will spend hours researching you for their scams in order to make money from you. We need to ensure as many people and businesses know to follow the Take Five advice and to Stop, Challenge and Protect.
“These criminals know how to apply pressure, hoping you will let your guard down and convince you that their intentions are honest when, in fact, it is completely the opposite. The more people and businesses know about such scams, the more people we can protect.”PCC Mark Shelford
Take Five to Stop Fraud advice for individuals
Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests for your financial or personal details. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam, don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed – you’re not alone.
Take Five to Stop Fraud advice for businesses
Stop: If you receive a request to make an urgent payment, change supplier bank details or provide financial information, take a moment to stop and think.
Challenge: Could it be fake? Verify all payments and supplier details directly with your company on a known phone number or in person first.
Protect: Contact your business’ bank immediately if you think you’ve been scammed and report it to Action Fraud.
If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.