This is a type of scam where you’re typically sent an email asking you to set up a payment to a new account or to amend existing account details. Sometimes these requests come out of the blue, but they often come from someone you’re already in contact with, such as a builder or solicitor.
Emails, text messages and telephone numbers can be spoofed, so they’re made to look genuine. In the case of emails, they can even be sent from a genuine email account that’s been hacked. So when you’re asked to make a payment to a new account, the account belongs to the fraudster, and the money never arrives with the genuine person or business.
Our key advice to avoid this scam
Always confirm any instruction to make a payment to a new account or change existing account details directly with the person or company requesting the change.
Don’t reply to the message or use the contact details included in it, until you’ve checked it’s genuine. Our advice is to check the request a different way. You could use the contact details that you already have on any correspondence you’ve previously received, or you could contact the company or individual on a publically available number, such as one published on a website.