Fraudsters posing as public sector bodies such as the police or fire service have been conning businesses into providing goods but failing to pay up.
Although the scam is not reported to be an issue in the Humberside force area, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received a number of reports from across the country.
And today Detective Sergeant Mike Wood, from the Humberside Police economic crime unit, is sharing details of the scam with the aim of preventing local firms from falling foul of the con.
DS Wood said: “The fraudsters initially make contact over the phone, claiming they’re interested in placing a large order.
“Subsequent contact is made via email and appears consistent with the firm’s previous dealings with the public body the offender claims to be representing. Over a period of time, an order is made and delivered to what appears to be an appropriate address, such as a police station or fire station.
“However, the offender makes sure this is somewhere where the delivery can be intercepted – choosing a station that will be closed.”
Protect your firm
You can reduce your risk of falling for the scam by:
- Ensuring you compare the email addresses and other details used to previous correspondence.
- Contacting the firm if you’re unsure or a long time has passed since their last order. Make sure you look up the details and don’t just use those provided.
- Questioning changes in the way the order has been made, or different delivery addresses.
If you, or anyone you know, has been affected by this or any other scam, contact Action Fraud or call 0300 123 2040.
Find out more about protecting your business from online threats.