Fellow businesses, beware of fake payment letters circulating now. We’ve spotted this one fraudulently claiming to be from Veolia Environmental Services UK, the waste and water management company.
It contains the (fake) official Veolia letterhead and the (forged) personal signature of the firm’s chief financial officer ‒ two ways the bogus letter might ultimately convince you to part with your cash!
In a nutshell, this sneaky try-on requests that you update how you already pay Veolia, but if you do, you won’t be paying them at all. Listed in the letter are the fraudster’s bank details; an account with Nationwide not used by Veolia.
This is not the first time the company, and in turn its customers, have been victims of a fraud case. In 2012 tricksters reportedly posed as customer service reps on the telephone and posted cards through letterboxes demanding money. Veolia’s official response remains to be “extra cautious as fraud attempts become all the more common”.
They’re not wrong ‒ just this week the Office for National Statistics published an estimate of fraud for the first time with incidents in England and Wales clocking in at five million, plus more than two million cyber crime offences.
We leave you with a couple of quick tips to combat the swindlers.
If you are suspicious about a letter or email, get in touch with the company directly to validate the authenticity.
When it’s absolutely necessary to share your bank details in an email at work or at home, do so not in the email body itself but instead as a separate attachment. That will go some way toward protecting yourself from software that the hackers are using right now to filter out your sensitive information.
Keep vigilant, stay safe!