The BIID has recently been made aware of a new type of
email fraud targeting interior designers. The fraud takes the form of an email
which appears to be sent from the Director or Owner of the practice to the
practice’s account department/book-keeper giving approval to pay a supplier
invoice. The email is actually from a fraudster and has been specially created
to look genuine (a closer look reveals that there is a slight misspelling
somewhere in the email, for example the numeral ‘1’ instead of the letter ‘l’
which would be very easy to miss). The email also includes a falsified chain
of correspondence between the supplier, the client and employees of the design
practice which serves to make it even more convincing.
Cyber fraud targeting businesses is a huge and growing problem in the UK. It takes many different forms and can be very sophisticated and convincing. We recommend that all designers take precautions to protect their business - the government has published specific advice for small businesses which may be helpful. We also recommend that if you have an entirely paperless invoice approval process you should review your own procedures to ensure you have checks in the process to protect against this particular type of fraud.
The BIID is happy to answer any further questions to this matter, and if you have also experienced any fraudulent or questionable e-mails, please get in touch with email@example.com so that we can inform our members.