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  • 15May

    By James Hyland & Co.,

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    Payment Diversion Fraud involves fraudsters creating false invoices or false requests for payments, or the diversion of payments.

    Below is an example of how it appears and happens in a business environment.

    A UK retailer was the victim of fraud to the value of £1.1m.

    The UK retailer was engaged with a third party to assist with upgrading infrastructure.

    In July and August 2021, a person or persons unknown, used fictitious email addresses to trick the UK retailer’s employees into believing they were corresponding with employees from a third party.

    Those perpetrating the fraud also tricked employees from the third party to believe they were corresponding with employees from the UK retailer.

    Fictitious e-mail addresses were used.

    Below are examples of what fake email addresses can look like:

    employee@ukretalier.co.uk (retailer spelt incorrectly)

    employee@thirdparti.co.uk (third party spelt incorrectly)

    employee@thirdparti.fr (third party spelt incorrectly and incorrect address)

    On a date in July 2021, those perpetrating the fraud used a fake retailer email address, as per the examples above, and obtained from the third party details of upcoming invoice payments, their dates and invoice reference numbers.

    On the same date in July 2021, the UK retailer received a request purporting to be from the third party, but sent it instead via those perpetrating the fraud, to send payment for upcoming invoices to a new bank account overseas.

    It was cited that the third party had ongoing issues with their usual bank that would not be overcome by the payment due date.

    In August 2021, the UK retailer authorised the payment of £1.1m to the requested overseas bank account.

    Shortly afterwards, the fraud was discovered.

    This fraud contained an unusual modus operandi as both the UK retailer and third party were impersonated during the fraud.

    How did this happen?

    With this iteration of payment diversion fraud, when the request for payment was made it is likely to have appeared even more genuine due to the initial reconnaissance that has been performed the retailer was impersonated and the supplier was contacted. This would have allowed the fraudster to include correct details of upcoming invoice payments, dates and invoice reference numbers.

    How to protect your business

    Be cautious with financial transactions: Before paying invoices, check the bank details are correct, especially if advised of a change in account details. The best way to check bank details is to contact the sender through known contact details, not those advising the change (e.g. existing telephone details that you have on file).

    Report Immediately: If you think you have been a victim of payment diversion fraud, act quickly, contact your bank immediately as they may be able to freeze the funds before they are moved.

    Also, report the fraud to An Garda Siochana.

    If you have any questions about payment diversion fraud, please do not hesitate to contact James Hyland and Company at (021) 480 6346 or email info@jhyland.com 

  • 04May

    By James Hyland & Co.,

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    Have you ever come across ‘forensic accountant’ and wondered what exactly does one do?

    Well, you have come to the right place.

    Here at James Hyland and Company, we have an experienced team of forensic accountants in Cork who can help you in a number of ways.

    Forensic accounting utilises accounting, auditing and investigative skills to conduct an examination into the finances of an individual or business.

    Forensic accounting provides an accounting analysis suitable to be used in legal proceedings.

    Meanwhile, forensic accountants are trained to look beyond the numbers and deal with the business reality of a given situation. They examine data to determine where missing money has gone and how to recover it.

    They then present reports of their financial findings as evidence during hearings and they often testify as expert witnesses. Their work serves a very important purpose in public accounting,

    So, how can a forensic accountant help you?

    Unlike general accountants who sometimes work for individuals, forensic accountants work with consulting firms and solicitors 

    However, the role an accountant plays with each can vary depending on the setting and the issue at hand. Each deals with money in different ways.

    Some forensic accountants work on broader cases while others work in specific fields such as insurance or public accounting.

    What does a forensic accountant do in their work?

    A forensic accountant will carry out what is called an audit.

    In an audit, there are three areas of focus.

    These include investigation, reporting and litigation.

    An investigation will see the accountant collect evidence when fraud suspicions exist. Using the information gathered, they will form a hypothesis as to what happened and create a follow-up plan.

    Reporting takes place after the investigation. Once the fraud is determined, the accountant decides how to handle the case and suggests the next steps to be taken.

    Finally, litigation involves the forensic accountant participating as an expert witness. They present their findings in court and testify against the offending party.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact James Hyland and Company at (021) 480 6346 or email info@jhyland.com 

    Read more: Meet the team

  • 14Mar

    By James Hyland & Co.,

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    Payment Diversion Fraud involves fraudsters creating false invoices or false requests for payments, or the diversion of payments.

    PDF is also known as Business Email Compromise (BEC) or Mandate Fraud.

    Payment diversion fraud also includes the following sub threats.

    Invoice Fraud

    This involves a company’s supplier being compromised. Typically, the victim company is contacted by the fraudsters purporting to be the supplier and requesting payment for an invoice into an account under the fraudster’s control.

    There is a specific sub-category of this fraud which is called tradesman invoice diversion, where tradespeople are impersonated. The fraudsters identify customers and demand payments from them by impersonating the company undertaking the work.

    Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Fraud

    Chief Executive Officer (CEO) fraud involves fraudsters impersonating a senior executive in an organisation and contacting employees to make payments to the fraudster. The fraudsters gain access to the organisation’s email accounts and gain information to enable impersonations of senior management.

    Conveyancing Fraud

    This type of fraud targets individuals who are in the process of buying a property. Fraudsters impersonate the victim’s solicitor, convincing the purchaser to redirect their payments to an account that the fraudster controls.

    Salary Diversion Fraud

    Salary diversion fraud involves fraudsters impersonating an employee and contacting the payroll department to change the account details into which the salary is paid.

    Prevention

    In business prevention of payment diversion fraud is key.

    It is vitally important that all companies follow the protection advice set out below.

    Regardless of how genuine a payment document may appear, there is no such thing as being too cautious.

    Protect your financial transactions

    Before paying invoices, check the bank details are correct, especially if advised of a change in account details. The best way to check bank details is to contact the sender through known contact details, not those advising the change (e.g. existing telephone details that you have on file).

    Report Immediately

    If you think you have been a victim of PDF fraud, act quickly, contact your bank immediately as they may be able to freeze the funds before they are moved.

    Also, report the potential payment diversion fraud to An Garda Siochana.

    If you have any questions about payment diversion fraud, please do not hesitate to contact James Hyland and Company on (021) 480 6346 or email info@jhyland.com