As with other sectors, the threat of fraudsters targeting you within the Dental sector continues to evolve. All businesses and organisations of this kind can be seen as attractive targets for fraudsters, due to the relatively high bank account balances which are needed to conduct day to day finances.
Taking some simple steps can make a real difference to fraudsters’ success rates so here are 5 common scams of which all employees who deal with banking or finance should be aware. Particular care should be taken just before any holiday, busy or ‘close-down’ period as fraudsters’ target these periods on the basis less care may be taken due to other distractions:
1. Scam phone call:
Fraudsters use telephone scams to obtain online banking passwords, confidential details or persuade you to move money to a “safe account”. They will tell you there is a problem with your bank account and ask you to call back on an official number, say from your card. By holding the line open until you call back, they convince you that you’ve reached the bank. They may alter the incoming number which appears on your phone’s caller display to one which you know is the genuine number for the Bank.
if you’re not absolutely certain that it is your Bank calling you:
· Call the Bank on a number that you know is correct from a different phone.
· If this is not possible ensure the phone line is clear first by waiting at least 5 minutes before calling back.
· Or test the line by calling a friend or colleague first.
· Remember that the Bank will never ask you to transfer funds to a “safe account” and will never call you to ask you to divulge full passwords, PINs or payment authentication codes.
Malware (malicious software) is often hidden in email attachments and free downloads. It can interrupt your online banking sessions and present you with a fake, but seemingly genuine, screen prompting you to enter passwords and codes which can be captured. This information can be used by fraudsters to access your online accounts and to make fraudulent payments, but also access other confidential information on your PC.
To guard against malware:
· Ensure all PCs are protected by high quality anti-virus and anti-spy software. Update it regularly and run frequent scans.
· Only download programmes to your PC from sources you trust.
· If possible provide a designated workstation that is not used for web browsing, email or other activities that could bring malware onto the system, for processing financial transactions.
· When you’re using your online banking service, if you’re asked to enter passwords or verification codes at an unusual stage, log out immediately and call your bank.
Email scams when fraudsters masquerade as your bank or other trusted organisation to obtain confidential information such as personal information, bank details or passwords. The email will usually link through to a fake website, which looks almost identical to the legitimate one. A message usually suggests that you need to act urgently, for example to prevent your online access from being blocked.
· Watch out for emails that are grammatically poor or that begin with ‘Dear valued customer’ or similar. A genuine bank email will always contain your name.
· Hover over links within emails to see the true web address.
· Use a SPAM filter to remove unwanted emails and opt out of marketing emails on websites.
4. Mandate Fraud:
Fraudsters might send an email or letter which appears to come from the beneficiary of a genuine payment which you make. They ask to change the bank account details to where the payment is sent to and if you don’t check the authenticity of the request, the next payment made will go to the fraudsters, not the intended recipient.
Therefore you should:
· Review existing processes for sending payments and ensure that there are strong authentication measures in place.
· Establish a single point of contact (SPOC) with each regular supplier and confirm any requests to change payment details with them on a number you know is correct.
5. Cheque Overpayment:
Beware of payments to you for significantly more money than you were expecting. Fraudsters may tell you that they have sent too much money to your bank account, asking you to return the additional amount sent in error. If you return the money without realising that that the payment into your account was a fraudulent cheque, you will lose out on those funds when the fraudulent cheque gets returned unpaid.
Therefore you should:
· Contact your bank and ask them to investigate the origin of any payment from a new client which is more than you expected.
For further help and guidance on how to avoid being a victim of fraud contact Action Fraud http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
or your bank.