For public sector organisations, every pound lost through fraudulent activity, is a pound less that is spent on essential front line service delivery to residents. That is why proactive steps are taken to safeguard against all forms of fraud be they internal or external sources.
In recent years, we have become increasingly aware of the rise of payment fraud with cyber criminals looking to capitalise on distracted and busy minds. Every day could be considered ‘Friday Fraud’ territory when employees are looking to ‘tie up loose ends’ before the weekend, meet deadlines etc. Criminals take advantage of such busy periods and look to socially engineer employees into cutting corners, ignoring policies, and breaching regulations so that monies are paid away into the fraudster’s bank account.
This activity is now translating into claims and ‘near misses’ with the last quarter alone producing one claim from a metropolitan council potentially in the region of £1m plus and a near miss from a County Council which could have run to many millions, but which thankfully was thwarted at the last moment by the actions of their bank.
What is driving this behaviour is hard to pinpoint; but the prolonged period of pandemic lockdown with key employees working from home certainly lends more confidence to the fraudsters, that systems of control and checking may be a little more relaxed.
Although unrelated, anyone with a mobile phone who has undertaken on-line shopping in the last 12 months will no doubt have had the fraudulent text message to say your delivery is being held up and you are invited to ‘trace’ your parcel by clicking on the link below, which if you do is likely to be the last thing you will do on your phone.
All of this goes to demonstrate that as technology becomes more sophisticated, so do the techniques and concepts deployed by the fraudsters.
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