Be careful when a supplier asks you to use updated banking details to make payments. It could be a scam. Always confirm new banking details with a person you know at the organisation before making any payments. And call them on the number that you normally use. Don’t use the number on the communications that you have received, as this could be the fraudster’s phone number.
To make the request seem more legitimate, fraudsters may even attach an account confirmation letter as ‘proof’ that their banking details have changed. But always confirm new banking details that you receive via email with the supplier before making any payments.
How fraudsters trick you into using fraudulent banking details
- Fraudsters hack the email account of a business, change the banking details on their invoices, and send these to all their debtors to make payments into their own account.
- They intercept an email you’re meant to receive, change the banking details on the email or invoice, causing you to make the payment into a fraudster’s account.
- They create fraudulent business letterheads and send you emails, asking you to make future payments into their ‘new’ account.
- If you receive banking details from a supplier via email, always confirm the banking details over the phone with someone you know before making the payment.
- Beware of near identical email addresses. Fraudsters may add a full stop or replace a letter, or the email may subtly end with .com instead of .co.za.
- Hover over the email address to make sure the response email address is the same as the email address of the sender.
- If possible, use bank-approved beneficiaries when you use Online Banking.
- Check all documents for spelling mistakes, errors, and suspicious changes.
- As a business owner, you could protect yourself by not adding your banking details on your invoices. Rather confirm them in person or over the phone with your customers.