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£2.3m "supplier" fraud at council prevented by sharp eyed bank worker

Thursday 3rd November, 2017

The actions of a vigilant bank worker prevented a local authority losing almost £2.3 million in an online scam.

East Renfrewshire Council unwittingly changed the bank details of a 'supplier' to an account held by criminals and two invoices were authorised for the total sum without proper checks.

However, the bank worker picked up on the change and alerted council auditors, who prevented the money being transferred in March. The council was made aware of the fraud attempt in June.

A spokesman confirmed the matter was in the hands of the police.

He added: "The fraud attempt occurred during a period when supplier details were being updated and human error resulted in a supplier’s bank details being updated with the fraudulent information without double checking.

“All appropriate steps have been taken to ensure that control measures are followed by staff at all times. As soon as our staff became aware of the issue they immediately reported the matter to our internal audit team who then notified external audit."

 

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