SOAS University of London

Procurement

Fraudulent e-mails & Purchase Orders

We want to alert you to a fraud scam that is targeting existing and potential suppliers to universities and businesses nationally.

The scam operates in the following way:

  1. A supplier will receive an email or phone call from the fraudster requesting a quotation for specific item/s of equipment or goods.  These may be in large or small quantities and of low to high values.
  2. There are instances where the fraudster has used the name of an individual connected with the university.
  3. The fraudster will ask for the quote to be sent to an email address resembling a legitimate university address eg. using -ac.uk rather than .ac.uk
  4. Once the quotation has been provided, a purchase order resembling an authentic university purchase order is emailed to the supplier.
  5. It typically instructs delivery to an address that may or may not be affiliated to the university. If the university address is used, the fraudsters intercept or redirect the delivery once they get notification of dispatch and tracking from the courier.
  6. The fraudster will provide a mobile number, asking for it to be the first number to try as they may be away from their desk or in meetings and therefore unable to take calls on the office extension.
  7. After shipping the item/s of equipment, the supplier never receives payment and is unable to retrieve any of the shipped products.

Please take the necessary precautions so that you are not a victim of this scam.

If you are ever unsure about a quotation request sent by email and purporting to come from SOAS University of London, or the subsequent purchase order, please contact the Procurement Manager at kate.price@soas.ac.uk, Procurement Assistant ms118@soas.ac.uk, or a known University contact. Please do not attempt to call any telephone numbers contained within the suspicious emails.