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GPs warned over fraud attacks

GPs are being warned that practices are increasingly being targeted by fraudsters.

Lloyds Bank has said that a number of forms of deception are being attempted with the aim of obtaining practice funds.

The CEO Fraud, as it is known, occurs where fraudsters hack into or imitate the email account of a senior person within a business. Once this has taken place, an email is sent to a practice requesting that an urgent and highly confidential payment is made to a specific account, supposedly belonging to that business. Instead, however, this account belongs to the fraudster who deprives the practice of their funds.

In addition to this, there is another scheme adopted by fraudsters, known as Invoice Fraud. In this case, the fraudster sends an email or letter to a practice, supposedly from a supplier, requesting that the next bill should be paid to an alternate account. Once again, the requested details belong to the fraudster who unlawfully retains the practice’s money.

With regard to each of these scams, Lloyds has urged practices to review their payment authorisation processes, in addition to emphasising that partners should act with increased vigilance when responding to payment requests.

In particular, it is recommended that before acting on any payment instructions received, or any change to a beneficiary’s account details, it should first be verified whether that request is genuine.

Finally, Lloyds has reiterated that no bank will ever ask for details such as a user name, password, pin number or challenge and response codes. If any such request is made, it should not be responded to and the bank should be notified immediately.

Lloyds Bank has a fraud awareness brochure which outlines different types of fraud. Copies can be obtained by contacting Natalie Hancock at

Other banks will also be able to advise their customers on how to prevent and tackle fraud.

How can Ward Hadaway help?

Our banking and finance team can give advice on banking transactions and usual bank practices, advising if any contact seems unusual and their banking facilities generally.

Our healthcare practices team advises GPs and other health professionals in respect of a range of issues affecting general practice, including advice on primary care contracting and performers list issues, employment and HR support, joint ventures and collaborative working, mergers of practices, partnership agreements, partnership disputes, property law, regulatory issues, retirement planning and succession arrangements.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

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