We are seeing a large increase in successful email fraud. The problem has been growing since the first reports to us last year.
What is happening?
Most often a request for payment is sent via email to a member of staff. This email often appears authentic and appears to be sent from someone in authority within the business.
As a result the member of staff may make the payment before the fraudulent request is spotted.
You may have seen such emails yourself and realised they were indeed fraudulent but from a bookkeepers point of view it is easy to see why they may believe it is a genuine request and then proceed to make the payment.
Why does it work?
These emails are more and more intelligent and factors that would historically make them standout as spam are being removed.
The emails are written in good English and use language which make you believe they are a real person and above all they appear to genuinely come from one of your colleagues.
What can be done?
Within fraudulent emails - the weakest link is the employee, make sure they are aware of the threat and that they don't take emails on face value. Instruct them to always take final authority by way of a phone call to the authorised individual.
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