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Fraud and Theft


Beware purported calls from HMRC.  We have had clients receiving automated calls from 0116 numbers advising them to call back urgently.  These calls are scamming calls and should be ignored.


  • Today is Take Five day, which is part of the national Take Five campaign to combat financial fraud in the UK. In 2015, £755 million was lost to financial fraud but we can all help to lower this figure by remembering one simple action - to stop and think.

It's important to stay vigilant and protect yourself and your organisation against scams and fraud.


Two common scams where criminals target businesses to trick them into sending money to them:

1          Cheque overpayment scams

A cheque overpayment scam is when a new customer pays a business for goods or services with a fraudulent cheque, which is made for a higher amount than the actual value requested.


Usually, the new customer will contact the business to advise them of the error and request an urgent refund. The business process the refund quickly as they're keen to build a strong relationship with them. Afterwards, the cheque is returned unpaid because it is fraudulent and the business is left with a loss.


Protect yourself

  • Never feel pressured into making a refund.
  • ·         Never accept a cheque for a higher value than expected.
  • Treat cheques with caution and don't provide goods or services, or refund a payment, until you're certain the funds have cleared.

 2          CEO payment fraud

CEO payment fraud happens when a fraudster takes on the identity of a senior member of a business by hacking or spoofing their emails.

Usually, the fraudster will email the accounts department and request to set up a new payment, i.e. to pay a new contract, or amend bank details on an existing or future payment. These requests are often sent with a sense of urgency to encourage the individual to act quickly.

Protect yourself


  • Always confirm new payment instructions by phone or in person with the colleague making the change - be careful not to respond to the email containing the instructions
  • Consider setting up single points of contact with businesses to which you make regular payments
  • Review your account processes regularly. It is recommended having a minimum of two approvers for all payments, as this offers an extra layer of security


It's important to stay vigilant and protect yourself against scams and fraud.

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