Recently, an incident was reported to us where the customer of one of our traders was sent a scam email. It appeared to have come from the trader, two days after the customer had already received an email invoice, with the bank details to use, in order to pay for the work that had been carried out.
The scam email appeared to be from the trader, even having the trader’s signature on it. It advised the customer that the trader’s bank details had changed and that the payment should be made to a different account. The customer paid for the work using the information in the second email. Needless to say, payment never reached the trader and they have been left with no payment for the work completed. The customer believes they have paid so they, on advice from the police, are not making a further payment, leaving the trader more than £5,000 out of pocket.
We are aware that this is becoming more common and have heard stories of people losing as much as £46,000 through scams of this nature.
Both parties to a contract need to protect themselves from scams when paying for good via email invoices. Our key tips to our traders are
1. Make sure your email is as secure as it can be.
2. Try to post invoices rather than emailing them.
3. Explain to customers on your invoices that if they receive emails giving different account details, to contact the company first to verify the account details as it is likely to be a scam.
Find out more information of How to spot a scam