Fraud alert on client payments to agencies
Says IPA Finance Director, Alex Hunter; "It’s an old trick but it's going round again; this time using agencies’ letter formats and signatories that appear genuine. The sums involved will be significant.
Addressed to the Accounts Payable Team, it advises the client that the agency has changed its bank account details and then lists the new account details for payments ‘with immediate effect’.
It will include the agency’s e-mail address for checking, but subtly different from the true e-mail address. Unless your client has checked with you, the first you’ll know about it is when you chase for outstanding payments, only to be told it’s already been settled.
Your chances of recovery are limited – very limited - to the bank’s willingness to accept that the fraudulent account was opened without all the requisite checks by the bank. The funds will have long since left that bank.
Please ensure your credit control is aware of this risk and sufficiently close to your client’s accounts department to forestall any unthinking acceptance of a “new” bank account notification".
Last updated 12/06/2013