Pulse February 2019 issue - Page 35

1 CPD hour 35 Who commits fraud? There are fi ve main ways that GP practices can fall victim to fraud • Insider fraud While the vast majority of practice managers and staff carry out their roles with integrity, a small minority of insiders will commit fraud if the opportunity arises. Although these cases are thankfully rare, they can cause catastrophic loss. Examples include false payment requests, creating a fi ctitious supplier or intercepting payments to suppliers. • Invoice fraud Fraudsters rely on practices failing to verify invoices against a list of known suppliers and simply paying them without checking. Or the fraudsters send a letter, seemingly from an authentic supplier of goods or services, advising the practice of a change in bank account. The ‘new’ account is controlled by the fraudster so when a practice makes a transfer into the account to settle the next invoice the money falls into the wrong hands. Losses are only discovered when the supplier chases for non-payment. There is minimal possibility of retrieving the money paid out. • CEO fraud This is also known as ‘bogus boss’ fraud. An example would be a member of the practice staff responsible for making payments receiving an email that appears to come from a practice partner, instructing them to make a payment using online banking. The staff member making the payment does not realise that the partner’s email account has been hacked and the request is fraudulent. • Online fraud Here the fraudster’s aim is to fi nd ways of duping people into divulging online banking usernames, passwords and security information by clicking on links or attachments in so-called phishing emails. Phone and text message scams are another method. In a recent case a GP received a phone call and was persuaded that there was a problem with her bank security. Unfortunately, she ended up handing the fraudster control of her laptop and bank card reader and lost £34,000. Often, insider frauds are only discovered when another staff member takes over financial duties • Professional risk The use of locum doctors is commonplace but controls over their identity, qualifi cations and defence cover arrangements must be eff ective. Are they eligible to practise? Do they have indemnity insurance? Without this, if there is a claim or action by a patient, the partners could be liable for the cost of a legal case. Do locum invoices match up with sessions worked and the rate agreed? Pulse February 2019