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'Old-style' fraud is back in business in the NE

Published:  17 June, 2011

MANCHESTER: Companies were yesterday warned over a rise in supplier fraud in the North West.

The forensic team at the Manchester office of accountancy firm KPMG has seen an increase in the number of clients receiving official-looking letters purporting to be from their suppliers, but which are sent by swindlers.

The letters ask firms to amend the supplier's bank details, in the hope that they update their records and make payments into the new account.

Martin Dougall, head of KPMG's North West forensic team, said: "This is a troubling rise in what is basically an old-style fraud.

"Often, many businesses who have amended a supplier's details do not realise there is a problem until they are chased for payment by that supplier. In one recent case we investigated, the attempted fraud was in excess of £1m."

He said any correspondence about a change in suppliers' bank details should be checked and confirmed before any action is taken.

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