Simply Business homepage
  • Business insurance

    • Business Insurance FAQs

    Business insurance covers

  • Support
  • Claims
  • Sign In
Call Us0333 0146 683
Our opening hours
Knowledge Centre

New email scam targets tradespeople

1-minute read

Anna Delves

20 July 2018

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

For many tradespeople, cyber security doesn’t seem like a huge priority. But in the new age of GDPR, it’s more important than ever to protect your customer information – particularly as there are new scammers on the loose.

Earlier this month, detectives in Northern Ireland uncovered an email fraud perpetrated by a con-man posing as a local tradie, and are warning others to be vigilant.

Thousands of pounds lost to scammers

The tradesman in question had his email account hacked. A message was then sent to one of his clients asking them to pay their outstanding bill into a new email account – one belonging to the hacker.

Fortunately, the scam was spotted and the transaction cancelled before payment could go through, but this isn’t the first time fraudsters have tried a technique like this. One couple in North London were fooled into handing over £25,000 to someone posing as their builder.

What’s different about this scam is that the tradesman’s email address was hacked. Often hackers just create a similar looking email address and hope the client will fall for it.

Tradespeople and their clients are frequently the target of scams like these because they tend to deal with large sums of money, so it pays to be careful and stay vigilant with your online presence.

Tradespeoples’ reputations on the line

Given that recent research has found that the public think certain trades are less trustworthy than others, it’s vital that tradespeople do everything they can to maintain customer trust.

While hacking or spoofing of email addresses might be unavoidable in some cases, there are steps you can take to make sure you clients don’t fall for it. Let them know in advance when you’ll be asking for payment, and in what form, and tell them to get in contact with you by phone if they have any concerns.

If you do suspect your account has been compromised, get in contact with your clients as quickly as possible to let them know, and make sure you follow GDPR regulations.

Are you protecting your trade?

As the UK's biggest business insurance provider, we specialise in public liability insurance and protect more trades than anybody else. Why not take a look now and build a quick, tailored tradesman insurance quote?

Start your quote

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

Find this article useful? Spread the word.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn

Keep up to date with Simply Business. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media.

Subscribe to our newsletter


Popular articlesBusiness resources from FarillioGeneral businessGuestInsuranceLandlordLandlord resources from FarillioLegal and financeMarketingNewsOpinionProperty maintenanceTradesmanCovid-19 business support hub


Public liability insuranceBusiness insuranceProfessional indemnity insuranceEmployers liability insuranceLandlord insuranceTradesman insuranceCharity insuranceRestaurant insuranceCommercial van insuranceInsurers


About usOur teamAwardsPress releasesPartners & affiliatesOur charitable workModern Slavery ActSocial mediaSite map

Customer support

Contact & supportPolicy renewalMake a claimProof of policyComplaintsAccessibility


6th Floor99 Gresham StreetLondonEC2V 7NG

Sol House29 St Katherine's StreetNorthamptonNN1 2QZ


Careers at Simply BusinessTech careersCurrent opportunities


BenefitsRefer a friendFinance


Terms & conditionsPrivacy policyCookie policyVuln Disclosure policy


Knowledge centreOpinionsMicrosites

© Copyright 2022 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business is a trading name of Xbridge Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Registration No: 313348). Xbridge Limited (No: 3967717) has its registered office at 6th Floor, 99 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NG.