Protect Against Phishing and Mandate Fraud
What would you do with a billion pounds? For individuals, it’s enough to live off of for the rest of their lives. For a company, it’s enough to buy all the assets they need for the next ten years. For a hacker… it’s how much they’ve stolen from online businesses in the last year. Mandate fraud and phishing have claimed over £19 million alone, and that’s not including cases that have gone unrecorded. As a business owner, it’s essential to know how to avoid mandate fraud and protect yourself from phishing.
What Is Mandate Fraud?
Mandate fraud is when a person poses as an entity that the consumer makes payments to and gets them to change their payments so that the money ends up in their bank account. For example, a MasterCard customer may get a call saying that the company needs to update their payment information because they’re moving headquarters and have new bank details, but the account is used by the fraudster instead. Now the customer still owes MasterCard, and they are out of the money sent to the fraudster. Some schemes are extremely believable, and consumers continue to fall for this type of trick to the tune of a 66% increase in cases from last year.
What Is Phishing?
Phishing is the hook, line and sinker of the fraud world. Criminals will usually send false emails that appear to be from companies you trust, and they’ll contain requests to enter your personal information for one purpose or another. Password resets are the most popular scams, but updating subscriptions and signing up for special deals also make their rounds. Even sites like Paypal have been copied by hackers to the extent that customers can’t tell the difference between a legitimate email and a scam.
Anne’s Story: The Cost Of Fraud
Phishing and mandate fraud don’t just happen to complete strangers. This sort of scam can happen to you and people you know. Take Anne Cook, for example. Anne was conned into paying a whopping £10,000 to a scam artist. How did this happen? Surely, she must have seen it coming a mile away.
You’d be wrong. Anne was in the market interested in the purchase of 3 flats in Leicester. She was sent several emails from an organisation claiming to be her solicitor. They convinced her to send an initial deposit of £10,000, which didn’t seem too out of the ordinary for a property purchase. Only after she received another request for payment to yet another bank account did she become suspicious. She, her real solicitor, and her bank discovered the fraud, but it took 7 months and a lot of publicity to convince the bank to give the money back.
Businesses Are Targets Of Fraud
There’s a sense of reassurance in having cyber security business measures, but many businesses don’t take the threat of fraud seriously enough. A simple anti-virus program won’t be of much use when an employee or administrator clicks the link in a phishing email. Even businesses who are careful of these scams can be fooled by the new and sophisticated design of phishing emails, and mandate fraud is stepping up its game as well.
The frightening reality is that any business can be the target of phishing scams or mandate fraud. Some businesses become victims because they didn’t feel they needed stronger security or that they simply weren’t on hackers’ radar. No one is invulnerable to cyber attacks and identity theft, or any other fraud scheme for that matter, so how can businesses avoid being the victims of cyber crime?
How To Protect Yourself From Phishing & Mandate Fraud
Phishing emails will typically look a bit off, especially when you check the email address or site URL that’s sending you the emails. The emails will almost always include an impersonal greeting like “Dear Sir/Madam”. If the company is legitimate and is one that you currently have an account with, they’ll most likely reference an account number or another indicator of a specific business relationship. Phone numbers, URLs and embedded forms can be used to obtain your information, so beware.
Mandate fraud occurs when a scam artist obtains personal information in regard to payments you’re making to an institution. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a representative of a company you have an account with, never give out personal information over the phone. If they’re legitimate, they already have that information on hand. Don’t give out sensitive information, even if it’s only partial (the last “X” digits of your bank account number, etc.).
These two types of fraud can be easily avoided by contacting the institution the representative claims to be from. Use the institution’s direct number or email, not the one provided to you by the possible scam artist. You should also be careful with documents like bills and bank statements; don’t leave them lying around, even in your own home. Check bank statements regularly and keep your chequebook balanced. Being financially aware can save you a lot of headaches.
Indigo FX Helps Protect You From Fraud
As you can see from Anne’s story, banks aren’t always able or willing to take measures against fraud once it has occurred. Indigo FX uses a payment system that’s 100% secure and guaranteed to protect your funds in the event of a default or failure. Indigo FX will work with you to transfer funds safely to the desired recipient. Your financial information stays with Indigo FX – no one else will be able to access it in order to commit fraud through phishing and mandate fraud schemes.
For more information on how Indigo FX can help you secure your financial payments, contact us at 020 7856 2464 to speak to a representative or request a callback.