Mandate Fraud

Mandate fraud takes place when you or an employee is deceived into changing a regular payment mandate (such as a direct debit, standing order or bank transfer), by purporting to be an organisation you make regular payments to such as a supplier, membership or subscription organisation.

The risks

  • Your business is contacted by someone claiming to be an existing supplier and told to amend the direct debit, standing order or bank transfer instructions to their new bank account. You will not suspect fraud until you are contacted by your genuine supplier to say that the monthly payment has not been made, or goods or services are not delivered.
  • You receive an email, letter or phone call from a publishing, information services or other subscription organisation, informing you of revised payment details to a new bank account. You will not suspect fraud until you stop receiving the goods or services subscribed to, including online services such as information resources and news feeds.
  • Your online bank account is illegally accessed by a fraudster and the payment mandate details altered so that the money is transferred to the fraudster’s account.

Protect your business from mandate fraud

  • Always verify requests for amended payments to an organisation directly using established contact details.
  • If a call seems suspicious, hang up and call the organisation using established contact details.
  • Never leave invoices, regular payment mandates or similar information unattended for others to see.
  • Check bank statements carefully and report anything suspicious to your bank.
  • Make sure colleagues, particularly those in a finance function, are aware of the risks.

If you suspect that you have been a victim of actual or attempted mandate fraud

  • Notify your bank immediately if you notice any unusual activity on your account or suspect that mandate fraud has occurred.
  • Notify the organisation which has been impersonated.
  • If fraud has been committed, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.police.ukIf you are in Scotland, contact Police Scotland on 101.


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