The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) has warned consumers and the banking industry of a change in a banking details scam. SABRIC CEO, Kalyani Pillay says that bank customers must be wary when being told that a certain supplier has changed their banking details and must thoroughly verify if the details have indeed changed.
The scam operates by an innocent recipient receiving an email/letter informing them that their particular supplier has changed their bank account details. The scammers will include details of the new account and the recipient will then be asked to make future payments into the new account.
It is then that the victim will discover that this is a scam as the monies will be paid to the fraudster and not the supplier.
There are numerous ways in which banking customers can ensure that they don’t fall victim to this scam including doing the following:
• Question whether well-known companies would change their banking details without notifying people through more formal channels
• Ensure that you confirm any change of banking details with someone you usually deal with at the organisation before making any changes to beneficiary accounts. When calling the organisation to confirm the changes to banking details, use a number from the telephone directory and not the number on the letterhead or fax, as you will in all likelihood be calling the fraudster.
• Beware of supposedly confirmatory emails from almost identical email addresses, such as .com instead of .co.za, or an address that differs from the genuine one by perhaps 1 letter that can be easily missed.
• Instruct staff with the responsibility for paying invoices to scrutinize invoices for irregularities and escalate your suspicions to a known contact.
• Ensure that your company’s private information is not disclosed to third parties who are not entitled to receive it, or third parties whose identities cannot be rightfully verified.
• Shred your business and suppliers invoices or any communication material that may contain letterheads, as opposed to just discarding it in rubbish bins. VOC