Fringe Box



£2 Million Lost In Telephone Fraud Scam – Police Urge Vigilance

Published on: 14 Jul, 2015
Updated on: 16 Jul, 2015

telephone-scamSurrey Police is currently investigating allegations by two separate victims claiming to have been conned out of around £1 million after falling prey to mandate fraud.

Officers are investigating the two Surrey incidents but did not wish to give further details of where the victims are located.  Residents are urged to be aware of the latest scam, in which a caller gets you to change a bank transfer mandate by purporting to be an organisation to which you make regular payments.

The first victim, who runs his own company, had set up a mandate to make regular payments to one of his suppliers, was conned out of just over £1 million after receiving a letter which appeared to come from the supplier providing details of a new bank account.

The victim changed the payment details to reflect this and was not even aware of the scam until the supplier notified him to tell him they had not received their payment. This is believed to have taken place between 12 May and 8 June this year (2015).

In a similar scam, the second victim lost close to a million pounds after being led to believe the company carrying out building work for him had changed their bank account details. The fraudsters used a fake email address to facilitate the fraud.

Detective Sergeant Chris Rambour from Surrey Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “This is a huge amount of money to lose and we are carrying out a thorough investigation to try and identify the offenders responsible. It is proving particularly challenging as this is obviously an extremely elaborate hoax and these offences are taking place all over the country.

“On both occasions, the fraudsters have somehow obtained the details of the two victims and have convinced them that they are from the companies to which they were each contracted.

“While our enquiries remain ongoing, we are determined to prevent other people from falling prey to this scam and would urge anyone in a similar situation to exercise extreme caution when making alterations to bank account details.

“Don’t leave things like bills lying around for others to look at and record details of standing orders and direct debits. Always verify changes to financial arrangements with the organisation directly using established contact details you have on file.

“If you are concerned about the source of a call, hang up and call back using established contact details you have on file.”

Surrey police badge 2aDS Rambour added: “Check your bank statements carefully and report anything suspicious to your financial institution.”

If you believe you have been the victim of a similar scam, the police advise you to contact the Surrey Police Economic Crime Unit on 101.

See also: Speak Out To Stop Scams From Spreading Says Guildford CAB


Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *