A NHS customer recently received an email from a scammer impersonating a NHS staff member, advising our bank details have changed and telling them to pay their NHS account to a different bank account. Luckily the customer thought it was suspicious and alerted us. We have handed the matter on to the Police.
NHS has no plans to change its bank account. If we ever did decide to change, we would inform you in multiple ways including off-line methods. Please continue to pay your NHS account in the same manner that you always have.
This type of fraud is becoming increasingly prevalent, including in our industry and in our area. So that you are not left out of pocket, please read below on ways you can protect yourself.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (‘ACCC’) has this month revealed that the number of email scams affecting Australian businesses has increased by 53% from 2017. These scams have hit businesses more than 5800 times in 2018. Small businesses with less than 20 employees are the biggest targets for email scams.
The most common scam is where company email addresses have been compromised or impersonated, leading to fraudulent instructions being sent to their customers, requesting bank account detail changes and payment re-direction to the scammer.
It is important you review your internal process for updating billing arrangements such as payment/supplier bank account details, especially if you are receiving the request via email.
Our top 3 tips to avoid falling victim to this scam are;
- Always verbally confirm BSB and Account number changes or urgent payment requests, regardless of who you think the sender may be.
- Never use the contact details or links provided in the email request. Only use the contact information available from a trusted source such as a phone book or company website.
- Share this information with anyone in your organisation who has access to online accounts and is authorised to make payments on behalf of you or your business.
Read this Scamwatch article and share with your staff for further information on reported cases.
Source: Westpac; ACCC