We want to alert you to a fraud scam that is targeting existing and potential suppliers of goods to the University; this fraud has also affected other universities and businesses in the UK. Please take the necessary precautions so that you are not a victim of this scam.
While Aston University cannot prevent this fraudulent activity, we are reporting fraudulent activity to Action Fraud. The fraud scam involves requests for product quotations and orders which claim to originate from the University but are in fact fraudulent.
The Supplier will receive an email requesting a quotation for goods or services. Once the quotation has been provided, a purchase order is emailed to the Supplier that bears resemblance to an authentic University purchase order. The purchase order typically instructs delivery to an address not affiliated with the University. Other Universities have experienced that a purchase order may be accompanied by a Credit Reference Sheet which is a fraudulent document. Aston University does not issue a 'Credit Reference Sheet'. After shipping the item/s, the Supplier will not receive payment and is unable to retrieve the shipped products.
The most common identifiers of fraudulent activity are provided below but are not limited to:
Email the Procurement Team to verify the validity of the request. Please include any emails and documents you have received that relate to the enquiry. The Procurement Team will respond to your email to confirm the validity of the request. The incident should be reported to Action Fraud as an attempted fraud against your organisation.
If you are concerned about cybercrime or wish to report an incident, please visit the Action Fraud web page or contact them on 0300 123 2040. Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. You should report fraud to Action Fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded, or experienced cybercrime.
Please do not attempt to call any phone numbers contained within the fraudulent emails that purport to be University numbers as they will attract a service charge. Typically, these numbers begin with 0843 / 0844 / 0845 / 070.
Raising awareness to existing and potential suppliers that may be subject to this type of fraudulent activity in order to provide basic guidance on how to deal with it. Requesting that domain names used for fraudulent activity are closed. Reporting all instances of known fraudulent activity to Action Fraud and compiling evidence for all reported incidents.
If you require further information, please contact a member of the University Procurement Team.