The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has noticed a trend in fraudsters impersonating public sector bodies and placing orders with businesses that have an existing supply relationship.
This type of mandate fraud relies on the relationship between the business and the public body, as well as payment terms being agreed and the product being delivered before payment is required.
Businesses are usually contacted by fraudsters on the phone who spark interest by wanting to place large purchase orders.Â
The scammers then switch and start to communicate with the businesses via email, consistent with previous dealings with the real public sector body.
The prior working relationship with the real public body is why this scam is so convincing. The fraudsters also keep all the correspondence, details and logos the same.Â
Once the purchase terms have been agreed, the fraudsters schedule a delivery to addresses where they can intercept the delivery. In order to cover their tracks and not arouse suspicion they will usually choose closed Fire and Police stations.Â
To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.