An unnamed Scottish company has been defrauded of a reported £18 million in a telephone con, in which a senior executive transferred money overseas – thinking they were acting on the instructions of the organisation’s chief executive.
Police Scotland said that such ‘vishing’ frauds are increasing and warned businesses to beware. Officers believe that a number of large organisations are being targeted by the criminals.
Detective chief inspector Kenny Thomson, from the economic crime and financial investigation unit, told The Herald: “Generally, a finance person will get the call from someone saying they are the chief exec. ‘You have never met me before,’ the person will say, ‘but you know my name, don’t you?’
“The caller will then say that he has a ‘hush-hush’ project to discuss, an acquisition or business deal. ‘You can’t tell anybody about it,’ the caller will say, ‘but I need you to move money straight away’.”
Police used forensic accounting techniques to trace the money that had been transferred overseas. The team is also probing another similar case and DCI Thomson said that company officials should take care to ask the right questions and “do the due diligence when pressure is put on you”.
Although businesses should be alert to the possibility of fraudulent activity, it’s not always possible to spot every clever con. That’s where forensic accounting can help you to track down where your company’s money has gone and can help you to recover it.
For expert help with a fraud investigation contact Frenkels Forensics for an independent appraisal.
By Vitek Frenkel – find me via Google+.