POLICE are warning businesses and organisations at risk of being targeted by scammers.

Cleveland Police issued the alert after an increase in reports of invoice diversion fraud – when scammers write to businesses claiming there has been a change in the bank details of a legitimate supplier in an attempt to get the businesses to pay their money into a fraudulent account rather than the supplier’s.

Detective Inspector Dave Turnbull, of Cleveland Police Economic Crime Unit, said: “It is important that whenever such a letter, fax or email is received that the recipient checks with the supplier to confirm its authenticity.

"In the cases that have been reported recently, the fraudulently obtained funds have been transferred overseas, making the investigation difficult.

"Failure to take this simple measure may result in a substantial irrecoverable financial loss.”