June 3, 2016
In an email to customers from Mike Ellwood, Managing Director of Corporate and Commercial Banking, the bank notes that it “take[s] your security very seriously”, and has “put together details of two common scams where criminals target businesses” to “trick you into sending money to them”. The first of these is a “cheque overpayment” scam, which occurs when a customer “pays a business for goods or services with a fraudulent cheque, which is made for a higher amount” than needed.
Usually, this would see the customer “contact the business to advise them of the error” before requesting an “urgent refund”, with the business “keen to build a strong relationship” with the customer, and so refunding them “quickly”. After this, the cheque is “returned unpaid because it’s fraudulent”, leaving the business “with a loss”.
Santander’s tips to protect your business from this scam include that you should “never feel pressured into making a refund” or “accept a cheque for a higher value than expected”, as well as making sure you “treat cheques with caution and don’t provide goods or services, or refund a payment, until you’re certain the funds have cleared”.
The second scam meanwhile is a “CEO payment fraud”, which happens when a fraudster “takes on the identity of a senior member of a company by hacking or spoofing their emails”. They would then email the accounts department “and request to set up a new payment”, such as to “pay a new contract, or amend bank details on an existing or future payment”. Such requests are often sent “with a sense of urgency to encourage the individual to act quickly”.
The bank’s advice to protect your business from this fraud includes that you should “always confirm new payment instructions by phone or in person with the colleague making the change”, and “be careful not to respond to the email containing the instructions”. Santander also recommends considering “setting up single points of contact with companies you make regular payments to”, and “review your account processes regularly”, with a minimum of two approvers for all payments”.
Categories : City News