Halton Trading Standards and the National Anti-Fraud Network are reminding people and businesses about the increased risk of bank mandate fraud during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bank mandate fraud occurs when someone is deceived into amending a bank payment method for a bill such as a direct debit or standing order.
This can happen when the fraudster contacts an individual claiming to be representing an organisation they make bank payments to. The fraudster will put forward reasons why the organisations bank account details have changed, persuading the individual to change their bank payment details using the fraudster’s bank account. At the current time, Covid-19 will provide the fraudsters with enough excuses why bank account changes are necessary.
Fraudsters may contact people via email, telephone, text, letter and even via cold calling at the door. If anyone contacts you claiming they need to provide you with new bank account details to make the payments to, then think very carefully before you make any changes.
- Check their credentials: email address, telephone number, ID badge, etc.
- Google it: search the details provided by the potential fraudster or carry out a search online of the sort code provided – is it a valid location for the bank.
- Check with the organisation directly, using telephone numbers you have used before, or email them.
Remember you should never give out your personal information to people whom you do not know, either remotely via email, over the telephone or face to face. If in any doubt then check them out!
For more information go to https://www.getsafeonline.org/ways-you-work/mandate-fraud/