Friday 22nd February, 2013
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified local authorities as a key target for fraudsters. Amongst its recommendations to combat the situation, it says that councils should build on and maintain regular contact with trusted suppliers and monitor invoice irregularities more closely if they are to effectively tackle scams.
Some of the scams include instances where genuine invoices are intercepted by fraudsters who change bank details to an account under their control the report says. It goes on to say that councils could also find themselves contacted by individuals pretending to be a supplier – informing them of incorrect banking changes.
The NFIB wans to look out for some tell-tale signs that fraud could be taking place, such as invoices carrying false or blurred logos and supported by email addresses with minor changes from that organisation's usual format.
Head of the dedicated cheque and plastic crime unit, Dave Carter, said: ‘.... intelligence shows us that [fraud is] on a steep rise. So we are urging the local authorities industry to be on the lookout for suspicious invoices and to raise questions if they are unsure.’