New scam sees fraudsters order goods to shut police stations

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Police are issuing a warning to alert businesses to a new kind of fraud, where con artists impersonate public bodies to place bogus orders with companies.

'Mandate fraud' sees fraudsters impersonating the lies of police and fire services to place an order with businesses they have previously worked with.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has noted the rising issue of fraudsters impersonating public sector bodies, where the they initially show interest in an order over the phone and go on to continue contact with the supplier by email, using false logos to legitimise their messages

Local cybercrime and fraud officers said: "The order is then delivered to an appropriate address, such as a police or fire station, but the fraudster is able to intercept the order and collect the delivery, i.e. if the station has been closed.

The NFIB has issues some tips to stay safe from this type of fraud:

- Always compare email addresses and other details to previous correspondence with the public sector body;

- Be aware if there has been a period of time between purchase orders. If in doubt request clarification from an alternatively sourced email address or phone number;

- Don’t be afraid to question when you are dealing with a public body representative that you have not previously dealt with;

- Don’t be afraid to question when the delivery address differs from the historical ones.

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk