UHY Hacker Young | Chartered Accountants

Protect your business from attempted fraud

5 July 2017

Fraudulent letters and emails are on the increase and can often be extremely hard to spot. Only this week we have been made aware of an accountancy firm being targeted in a potential fraud. Some of the firm’s clients received a notification in the form of a letter from somebody who falsely claimed to be from the firm, advising of a change in the firm’s bank details.

Unfortunately fraudulent attempts are becoming increasingly sophisticated, often making it difficult to determine whether a letter or email is genuine. It is therefore of utmost importance that you do not accept any notice to change financial instructions without first confirming the request with the account holder, either by speaking to them on the phone or by another direct method. Requests for urgent payments should also be verified in the same way.

When dealing with any business relationship we recommend the following is observed:

  • Consider setting up designated single points of contact with companies to whom regular payments are made.
  • Any changes to the point of contact for clients or suppliers should be verified with the business’ management team.
  • Confirm any requested changes in financial instructions using an established contact before making any changes.
  • For payments over a certain amount, consider additional checks with the company or colleague requesting payment, and obtain confirmation that the payment will be sent to the correct bank account and recipient

To discuss any concerns in relation to your specific circumstances, please contact me or speak to your usual UHY contact.