Crooks come up with new scam
Bank Windhoek has warned its clients and the general public to watch out for the latest fraudulent scam.
Thieves are targeting specific businesses to channel payments intended for creditors to fraudulent accounts. The fraudsters may initially telephone a company (victim) and ask for a contact name and detail that they can send the invoice to. A written request will then be sent, faxed or emailed (this will appear in order and seemingly from a known supplier, contractor, etc.) advising them that the supplier has changed its bank account details used to receive regular payments and requesting payments to be made via electronic transfer to the new account.
The request is usually on a letterhead which appears authentic and the details of the company secretary, finance director or other officials, including their signature, will appear correct as the information has likely been copied from the company’s annual report and/or web site.
Email addresses used by the fraudsters are masked to appear authentic (for example [email protected]) or are very similar to the genuine email addresses of suppliers, contractors and other third parties.
They also contact the supplier requesting an invoice to be send to them as if they are the debtor, but the email address would differ. In this way, the fraudsters obtain invoices that they can include in their communication to the victims and to appear more legitimate.
“Clients are requested to be cautious when receiving such communication/correspondence, even if they appear authentic. The golden rule is to determine directly from the supplier (not the contact informing of changes) whether key account details have really been changed” said Ina Muir, Forensic Auditor at Bank Windhoek.
The bank requests members of the public who receive suspicious communication or correspondence relating to changing of bank details, to contact Ina Muir at Tel: (061) 2991359 or to send an email to [email protected] .