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Mandate fraud

A number of businesses have lost considerable amounts of money to mandate fraud (also known as Invoice Redirection Fraud).

This is when a fraudster impersonates a supplier and tells the genuine company they've changed their bank details and ask for their record to be updated.

Unknowingly staff then arrange the next payment using the newly provided details. The fraud often only comes to light when the real supplier chases payment.

A variation of this crime involves an email impersonating a senior manager within a genunie business asking finance staff to change bank details for a supplier or requesting a one-off urgent payment be made.

Top tips

  • Make sure staff are aware of these types of fraud and always get requests to change financial details double-checked. 
  • Make sure the request is from the genuine supplier: contact them using established contact details on file or from their website - don’t reply using the details provided in the request. Use both email and telephone in case one has been hijacked by fraudsters. 
  • Try to establish at least 2 points of contact with regular suppliers to check any issues that arise. 
  • Always review invoices and emailed payment requests to check for inconsistencies/errors eg misspelt company name or email address. 
  • Contact senders of larger invoices in advance of making payment to ensure details are correct. 
  • Consider what information is publically available about your business - is it really necessary to publish information that may be useful to fraudsters? 
  • Never leave invoices unattended in the office or on a desk. 
  • Ensure your computer systems are secure and anti-virus software is up-to-date. 
For more information about how to protect your business from crime, visit Action Fraud.
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