09 August 2017
How to avoid being a victim of email fraud
It’s highly likely that you’re one of many people who’ll believe they are clever enough never to fall for email fraud. After all aren’t the emails always from a “dodgy” email address you’ll spot a mile off or written in broken English starting something like “Dear Mr Sharon”? Well they used to be like that, but not anymore.
What the fraudsters now do is hack into email accounts and read the emails sent back and forth. When the right opportunity presents itself that is when they strike. In a separate article we set out the following true scenario (and we explained what to do if this happens to you):
You receive an email from your builder confirming his bank account details for the £20,000 deposit payment the two of you have been discussing by email. You action the payment. Then your builder calls you to say he’s received no money. You check with him what his bank account details are, but they different from those he sent you by email. You go cold. You have just been the subject of fraud. The fraudster hacked into your builder’s email account and impersonated him.
It’s easier than you might think to avoid this type of fraud. You just have to be bit more careful than you might have been in the past.
- First of all never be rushed – if someone asks you to make a payment swiftly pause before you do anything, even if you are busy (because this is when you’re most likely to make a mistake).
- Secondly, check the bank details are the same as those you have used before (if applicable). If it’s your first payment then:
- Thirdly, assuming you are expecting to pay the person who (you think) emailed you, call them, but don’t use the telephone number which appears on the email which requested the money without checking the telephone number first ! Instead, use the number you already have for the person or check it on the internet from a trusted website. If you know the person you’ll quickly be able to recognise their voice (or ask some questions about the person or the transaction which only they will know) and all you need to do is ask them to verify their banks details. Since you are planning on sending them money they’ll always be happy to oblige!
These precautions may seem obvious – but do you always take them when someone emails you their bank details ?
If, unfortunately, you get caught out then have a look at our article how to beat the fraudsters at their own game.
Matthew Brandis and B P Collins’ Dispute Resolution group are experts at resolving all types of disputes, (and the firm ranks highly on Google Reviews) and we are always willing to have a no-obligation conversation with you (01753 279 039) – all we’d say is don’t delay speaking to us.