Company impersonation/Identity fraud
A significant problem is the supply of goods by legitimate companies to fraudsters who are impersonating other legitimate companies.
Company impersonation fraud involves;
- Changing the director and address details on the Companies House register.
- Ordering goods for delivery to the false address.
Items such as phones and laptops that can easily be sold on are the primary targets for this type of fraud.
Often the first indication that the supplier and genuine company will have that this has happened is a problem with an invoice for payment.
How to protect yourself?
- Thoroughly check companies that you are dealing with for the first time and at regular intervals thereafter.
- Register for the PROtected Online Filing (PROOF) Service at Companies House
Source: Met Police
Vishing is being used increasingly by criminals to deceive businesses into revealing company financial information or to encourage the transfer of funds into a bank account held by the criminal. Posing as a company supplier, a police officer or a member of staff from a bank or building society, the criminal will make an attempt either to obtain your company bank account details or will ask for bank payee details to be altered so that regular payments normally transferred to a genuine supplier account are instead made into a fraudulent account.
Every company or organisation is vulnerable to invoice fraud. This type of fraud occurs when a company or organisation is tricked into changing bank account payee details for regular payments. Criminals pose as regular suppliers to the company or organisation and will make a formal request for bank account details to be changed.
Criminals who specialise in invoice fraud are often aware of the full details of relationships between companies or organisations and suppliers and they know when regular payments are due. Equipped with sophisticated information, they make contact with finance teams within companies and organisations, posing convincingly as suppliers. Payments are repeatedly made to them and the fraud is often only discovered at the point when the legitimate supplier of the product or service chases for non-payment of invoice. At that point recovery of the funds from the fraudulent account is very difficult.
Source: Financial Fraud Action UK. Visit their website for more excellent information and advice.