We have received messages from members who were concerned about an email they had received through the website as a new customer enquiry. Thanks to all of you for bringing this to our attention. We can confirm that the email address, content and any similar content has been blocked as spam so you shouldn't receive it again.
Please contact us if you receive the same message and it is dated after 12th February.
Our IT support have provided the following information if you have responded to the query:
Don’t open unexpected attachments or any attachments where the sender is not known.
You should have some sort of virus protection on your computer, as generic best practice advice.
No real harm replying to these spammers other than you might then get more emails/spam/junk from the sender or other linked emails.
The email we have received from members looked like this:
The message is from:
Tel (if provided): +2133483
The message was:
Do you offers counseling for individuals? on General issue (anxiety,stress,depression and bereavement)
Please tell me your...Available date: Issues: specializing in working with: Presently Location: Years Experience: Insurance: Locations: Thank you! Mr David
We have also just heard from a member who seems to have experienced something very similar to the below, which the PSA sent a warning about in 2015:
The Authority shared the following message with all relevant Accredited Registers in 2015 and we are sharing again as a member has recently received similar communications:
"My husband Richard an accredited therapist, was recently contacted by email, from an overseas client whose (supposed) daughter was coming to the UK and wanted 6 sessions of therapy. He then emailed to say that a cheque had been issued by a friend who had overpaid the amount which the therapist had stated were his fees, so could we please send on the extra money to his daughter which was meant to cover some of her school fees. When my husband told me this my alarm bells rang out and I said, no way can we under any circumstances use our banking to potentially launder their money. Fortunately the cheque which he said was in the post, never arrived and neither did the daughter.
However as the therapist shared this in his supervision group, 2 other members of the group had experienced a similar situation, all recently, this summer, and one had even received a cheque for the therapist sessions in the post. However instead of paying for the £200 worth of therapy sessions, the cheque was made out for £2000. He tried going to the police and the bank but neither could shed any light. But his bank has offered to return the cheque to the overseas bank asking if the cheque is fraudulent.
Our understanding of this is that possibly It could be money laundering or it could just be a scam i.e. the original cheque never arrives, but the therapist makes the refund and so the con is just to gain money rather than launder money. We will be advising our members that should they be approached they should go to the police - they should not contact the individuals and tell them they are doing this as this would be treated as "tipping off" and is a criminal offence under the Financial Crime Act."