Council urge people to remain vigilant of fraud scams

Businesses and residents in Bridgend County Borough are being urged to be alert to scams following an attempted attack on a local authority and housing association.

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council and housing association Cartrefi Cymru thwarted an attempted £320,000 bank mandate fraud this week after suspicions were raised over altered email addresses and grammatically poor responses.

It has prompted a warning from Bridgend County Borough Council for people to remain vigilant of similar scams.

Earlier this year, a local business was defrauded out of £40,000 worth of goods after the fraudster made a large purchase order under the guise of the local authority. When the goods were delivered, the supplier never received the payment and was unable to retrieve the shipped products.

Bridgend County Borough Council is reminding businesses that all authentic emails from the authority will originate from a ‘@bridgend.gov.uk’ email address.

If businesses suspect that any quotation request sent by email or a subsequent purchase order may not be genuine, they can contact [email protected] to double-check.

Businesses are also being warned not to call any phone numbers contained within the fraudulent emails which purport to be local authority numbers as they may incorporate expensive service charges.

Cllr Dhanisha Patel, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations, said: “We are urging everyone to be alert to fraudulent messages and to avoid falling victim to scams by taking all the necessary precautions.

“Always verify that the email address or phone number is genuine and keep an eye out for instances of poor grammar – these are often the tell-tale signs that this is a fraudster rather than the person or organisation they say they are.

“All instances of known fraudulent activity involving the name of the council should be reported to South Wales Police and Action Fraud.

“If you have received any suspicious emails we would ask that you forward them to the council’s senior fraud investigator Simon Roberts on [email protected] so these can be added to the evidence file.”

For more tips on how to spot fraudulent emails and purchase orders, visit the council website.