Detective Chief Inspector Iestyn Davies at Caernarfon Police Station said “Typically a company or business receive a letter or email purporting to be from a well-established sub-contractor indicating they have changed their bank account details and in some case are using another company name.
"Their intention appears to have invoices settled into the new accounts and make off with the cash. This scam appears to have been attempted all over the UK and in some cases accounts have been settled into the new and bogus accounts and emptied almost immediately with no trace of the offenders.
“My advice is simple, if your company or business receive a letter from a sub-contractor indicating change of name or account please make contact with a known individual in the business to confirm. If this is not the case please ignore the request and inform Action Fraud immediately.
“Unfortunately offences of this nature are becoming more common but by asking a few pertinent questions and making a few enquiries you could prevent yourself from becoming a victim of fraud. Further information about protecting yourself from financial crime is available from the Action Fraud hotline on 0300 123 2040, or visit http://www.actionfraud.org.uk/ .
DCI Davies added: “They can provide up to date advice on current scams and can identify whether a scenario is fraudulent. And if you have been unfortunate to have lost money, contact the police.”
Police tips to protect yourself from fraud:
• Do not give personal details including banking details to anyone you do not know following unexpected requests for money made either in the street, on the doorstep, over the telephone or internet or as these details can be used to steal your identity.
• Consider registering with the Telephone Preference Service to stop unsolicited telephone calls. This is a free service. Further details can be obtained from http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/ or 020 7291 3320. Registration can be made on line or by phone 0845 070 0707.
• Consider registering with the Mailing Preference Service as this supports the right to choose the mail you wish to receive. Further details can be obtained from http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/ or 020 7291 3310. Registration can be made on line or by phone 0845 703 4599. This too is a free service.
• If you are suspicious that you’ve been targeted in a fraudulent telephone call this can be reported to Action on Fraud at http://www.actionfraud.org.uk/ or telephone 0300 123 2040.
• If you’ve lost money call your local police on 101.
• Beware of cold calls even when the caller appears to have personal information such as your address or bank account details. Legitimate callers will never be offended if you ask to call back in order to confirm their identity. When doing so always use a phone number that you’ve obtained from previous correspondence or an independent source such as phone book or an official website.
We would encourage the public to use social networking to get this message out to as wide an audience as possible – the more people who know about it the less chance of them becoming a victim.