Warning to businesses in Fife after high-value fraud

editorial image

Police have issued a security warning to local businesses in Fife, following high-value fraud.

A builder was commissioned by a client in the Cupar area to construct a new home, with payment for work being delivered upon receipt of invoices.

On June 6, the client received an email from the builders’ account providing new bank details to transfer the outstanding balance to. However, after more than £45,000 was transferred to the new account, the builder confirmed they had not received payment and had not sent an email with new bank details.

Inquiries have since established the genuine email address was hacked and others are now being urged to ensure they have appropriate web security in place.

Sergeant Stuart Hay of Cupar Police Station said: “The clients received an email from the trusted email address of their builder and complied with the request to send payment to a new account. It was not until the builder found that no new funds had been deposited in his bank that the hack was identified and our investigation is now underway to identify those responsible.

“For small local firms, the loss of such high revenue could be disastrous and we would urge all businesses to make sure their email accounts, websites and all other means of engaging with customers have all the necessary security in place to safeguard themselves against hackers and scammers.

“For members of the public, the loss of such money can have life changing implications and we would urge the public to remain vigilant against this type of crime, checking the authenticity of material changes to where payments are sent.

“If you have information relating to this incident please come forward immediately.”

Those with information can contact Police Scotland via 101 and quote incident number 712 of the 6th June. Alternatively, an anonymous report can be made to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.