Barclays warns 'it's important for everyone' who has £8,600 in bank account

Barclays has issued a warning over invoice scams as the average amount lost to the swindles hits a staggering £8,600. In a new alert, Barclays explained the cost of the scams has hit an eye-watering £8,000 amid the ongoing Cost of Living crisis.

Speaking previously, Barclays explained invoice scams are when fraudsters divert genuine invoices or payment instructions sent by email, often from a familiar supplier or contact, and send a replica email with the with bank details changed to an account controlled by them.

Kirsty Adams, Fraud & Scams Expert at Barclays, said: “Invoice scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Scammers target suppliers, creating fake emails requesting invoice payments that can look seriously legitimate.”

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Barclays says do your research, know your suppliers and if you get an unexpected message or email asking you to follow a link or open an attachment, use a different method to check this before doing anything.

“People might imagine that invoice scammers solely target those working in finance, but it’s important for everyone to stay vigilant – particularly as we approach the summer when consumers might be settling big invoices for events such as weddings and parties,’ she said.

“It can be devastating to have a life event ruined by a heartless scam.” She added: “It is always worth double-checking invoice and payment details against a previous invoice and if in any doubt, verify the details or amount with a known contact from the business over the phone.”

Back in 2022, one victim, Ben Lebus, founder of healthy recipe website Mob Kitchen, said: “As a business owner myself, I understand the pressures of running a company. Naturally, you look to save on costs wherever and whenever possible. Particularly at the start of the financial year, all outgoings can feel especially difficult to manage, but it’s important to stay vigilant when thinking about changing suppliers or providers.

“Spending extra time researching in the early days, will save you time and money in the long run. I am always cautious when making big decisions that determine the future of the business, and I am similarly cautious when making the smaller decisions around spending."