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Client Account Fraud Alert

10 June, 2024

We have recently been informed of a CLC practice that has been the subject of an incredibly sophisticated fraud on their client account resulting in loss of a significant sum.  The fraud was committed over the telephone. 

Fraudsters purporting to be from the practice’s bank called leaving a number and asked the practice to return their call. On returning the call the practice was told that restrictions had been placed on their office account because ‘the bank’ had noticed a suspicious attempt by an energy company to take a payment.  Consequently, ‘the bank’ had placed restrictions on the practice’s office and client accounts, which they explained, meant that the practice would be unable to receive or process payments. 

To reinstate the ability to make and receive payments on their account, the practice was asked to log onto a portal, details of which were provided by the person on the call.  In a very polished scam, the practice used the portal to log into their online account, entering their pin several times.  This enabled the fraudsters to access the account and make several payments in quick succession, resulting in significant financial loss for the practice.

This is a stark reminder of the fact that we are all susceptible to fraud, and fraudsters are becoming ever more sophisticated, presenting their ruses in a manner that is very convincing, even to those of us who are alive to the ever present risk of fraud.  

We strongly encourage you to reflect on this example and review your existing anti-fraud measures.  Consider how your practice might have responded in this situation.

We recommend providing fraud awareness sessions for all staff and making use of the anti-fraud resources available from your bank and other organisations such as ActionFraud  and TakeFive (which is helpful for educating clients about what they can do address fraud risks). 

There is more information in our Cyber Crime and Fraud Toolkit.