Hertfordshire Police warn companies to be vigilant as fraudsters target businesses in payment diversion scams

Police are warning businesses and residents to be wary of payment diversion fraud

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021, 11:24 am

Hertfordshire Police is warning businesses to be wary of payment diversion fraud which has been targeting businesses across the country.

This type of fraud involves criminals contacting 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 or inform the recipient of a change of bank account details.

Warning as fraudsters target businesses in payment diversion scams

Criminals will often create fake e-mail addresses which are very similar to genuine business or customer addressees 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.

Police are asking businesses and individuals to stop, think and follow the Take Five to Stop Fraud advice as it could protect you and your money.

Advice for individuals

Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations, businesses and the police. They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you will let your guard down for just a moment. Stop and think.

> 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 are not alone.

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 the 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.

For more simple tips on how to avoid payment diversion fraud visit the Action Fraud website.

If you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.