Law firms, banks, accountancy firms, solicitors, Investment firms and pretty much most other businesses have clients who are being defrauded into making payments into fake accounts. The damage to the reputation of the business can be significant.
Businesses need to take their own steps to protect their clients.
Authorised push payment (APP) fraud is when the victim believes they are paying a genuine organization. In the UK more than £4 million a day is taken this way and less than half of it is returned to the victim. This is a 71% increase on last year.
Imagine the scenario, the very day of your property purchase you get an authentic looking email from your solicitor or law firm providing the (new) bank details where you should transfer the funds for your property purchase. You are under pressure with everything else going on and the logo and the heading are all correct, the language and the signature look identical, and it is highly unlikely that fraudsters would know you are purchasing a property today-or would they?
Fraudsters use clever psychological tricks and detailed knowledge of the user’s business to persuade even the savviest of people to part with their money.
This is such a significant problem in the UK that the government has launched an emergency helpline so that people who fear they are being scammed by ‘their’ bank can more easily check by dialling 159 to get through to the genuine bank.
This is no longer just a problem for the IT department, this is a problem for the executive officers of any business. People just don't expect to be defrauded by someone using the details of a trusted business organisation. Reputation takes a long time to build and a very short time for it to be shattered.
There is no single answer to deal with this problem it is multifaceted and pervades the whole business. Technical and legal measures are important, as is training not just of your own staff but of your clients as well.
A frequently overlooked issue is fraudulent and misleading domain name registrations, designed to look identical or very similar to the bona fide business. For example, www.ba-ways.com helped defraud more than 400,000 BA customers in a two week period. Lexdech can help identify such fake registrations before they become a problem.
If I ran a law firm, dealing with this threat would be a board level issue. I would engage a whole range of providers to craft the most effective solution possible. Anything else is just leaving your valuable client base open and vulnerable, and maybe your reputation in tatters.
#lawfirms #accountantsuk #reputation #UKfinance #domainwatching
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Author: John Pryor Exalt IP