There have been industry reports that fraudsters are hacking email accounts in order to obtain money from unwitting victims. Targeted individuals will receive a message from a known email address requesting that a payment is made or existing payment details are amended.
The email will advise the victim that bank account details need to be changed or a payment should be made. The email will come from a known address and may be in the tone and format associated with the owner of the email account. However, unknown to the recipient, the email account has been hacked and the instruction is from a fraudster asking the individual to hand their money over.
How to protect yourself
If an individual or company that you know requests a payment to be made to a new beneficiary or changes their own bank details, always double check with your bank by phone before actioning any related requests. Never use the contact details provided by the individual requesting the change.
The same applies if you work for someone who requests you to send payments on their behalf. Please ensure you have a robust process in place through which you will verbally confirm a new payment or amendment to a recipient’s bank details before this is actioned.
Never trust a request, even if it is from a known email. You have no way of detecting if an email has been hacked and if the request is genuine.
Never use the contact details provided by the individual requesting the change.
Continually ensure computer systems and information is secure to prevent information falling into the wrong hands.
Safeguard your computer by installing and regularly updating antivirus and malware protection.
READ MORE FROM THE METROPOLITAN POLICE ABOUT THE HACKED EMAIL SCAM >
- Install anti-virus/firewall software on your devices and regularly update it.
- Never reveal your card or online banking PIN. Ever. To anyone.
- Choose strong passwords and do not use the same PIN and password for everything
- Keep your bank updated with new contact details
- Check your statements and report anything you do not recognise.
- Securely store financial and other valuable documents such as your passport.
- Ensure you dispose of documents diligently (for example, use a cross cut shredder to destroy statements when no longer required).
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Financial Conduct Authority
The FCA regulates the financial industry in the UK.