The Guild of Master Craftsmen take security very seriously particularly where it effects the Guild members and their clients.
We have an example of a case where a scam cost our member and his client over £3,000.
This particular scam is known as a payment redirection scam.
This Building company had been carrying out external work for his client for some weeks. He had already requested (via email) and received payment over the internet by bank transfer.
It was common to receive another email from the Builder asking for an additional payment of around £5,000.
The client received another email. The email instructed him to transfer the money to a new bank account. The reason given was that there were problems with the old account.
The client believed that the email was sent by his Builder. It was from the same email address, so the client thought it was genuine.
Spoofers can make emails look genuine. The fraudsters hacked a real email account (the Builders) and used it to send the email.
No money arrived into the Builders account, so he believed the client had not paid. The client paid the money to the Builders, but thought they were trying to claim double payment. Difficult situation for both Builder and his client.
The positive aspect of this situation was that the customer only paid half of the amount due. However, the Builder called to inform that he hadn’t received any of this payment. This happened when the Client was about to pay the second half.
For a few weeks, the client and builder had a tough situation, each thinking the other was at fault.
Always double-check payment instructions, especially for a new bank account, directly with the person you’re dealing with.
Do not reply to the scam email or use the contact details included in it. Make sure that you check with your trading partner that all details are genuine.
Verify using different methods like sending mail to the confirmed address or making a real phone call (mobile or known landline).
Always check original details. Make sure that the payment will reach the correct bank account.
Report all cases of Fraud to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or phone 0300 123 2040.