Payment Diversion Fraud Alert

Alert message sent 12/12/2017 11:17:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police

Tuesday, 12 December 2017


Dear Farm Watch members, 

The purpose of this alert is to provide knowledge and prevention advice to farmers in order to protect themselves from falling victim to ‘Payment Diversion Fraud’. CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) payments are expected to be paid to farmers in December 2017. Information on last year’s payments are easily obtained via the government website allowing fraudsters to know when and how much potential targets will receive.

What is Payment Diversion Fraud?
Fraudsters who purport to be a trusted senior colleague or established customer may request that you change their direct debit, standing order or amend a bank transfer so that the payment can be diverted to a bank account which is in control of the fraudster. Fraudsters will often make the request under the pretence of a highly sensitive or urgent transaction. Contact is made via phone, letter but most commonly via email (personal or work address) used by the organisation or employee (which has either been spoofed or hacked). The fraudster then provides bank account details into which the monies should be paid.

What can you do to prevent yourself from falling victim to Payment Diversion Fraud?
- Ensure all staff, not just finance teams are aware of this fraud. 
- Always verify email payment changes to financial agreements with the organisation directly using established contact details you have on file. If called ask the caller to give you a main switchboard number for you to be routed back to them. Alternatively, hang up and call them back using established contact details you have on file. 
- Have a system in place which allows staff to properly verify contact from their CEO or senior members of staff; for example having two points of contact so that the staff can check that the instruction which they have received from their CEO is legitimate. 
- Always review requests to change ‘one off’ payment requests. Check for inconsistencies or grammatical errors, such as a misspelt company name or a slightly different email address. 
- Ensure computer systems are secure and that antivirus software is up to date.

Kind regards,

Sergeant Tom Carter
Lead for Wildlife, Heritage and Environmental Crime 
 

Help us keep Sussex safe

Seen something suspicious or have information about a crime or incident? Please contact us online, email us at 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101.

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
 
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