There is a scam called 'authorised push payment' where customers are persuaded to transfer money to a scammer, thinking they were transferring it to a reputable business, such as a conveyancing solicitor.
Which have a page about it, but its instructions for avoiding this are very general (like "Take care"). Is it possible to define a set of concrete actions that you can perform to ensure the bank details you have been given are actually those of the organisation you think it is?
There are 2 situations that this is relevant to me:
The first I suspect is me being paranoid. I wanted a savings account, went to money saving expert, picked a high interest option that I had not heard of, and opened an account. About the same time I read that their certificate issuer was hacked, and as I was not aware of any other way to validate the credentials they provided online I was too frightened to transfer any money into the account.
The second is much more like the sort of thing that generates these scams. I am looking at buying property by auction. The auction website has a registration/login process, but appears to be pure http, I have not found a https page. I have had emails from the auction house, and they have no encryption but are sent from a SPF permitted IP address. The property is currently owned by a company with no web presence or telephone number available online, but exists on companies house. If I win the auction, I will have 24 hours to transfer 10% and 20 days to transfer the rest. I expect to get the payment details by email.
In cases such as this, is there a set of actions that an individual can take to ensure that any set of payment information is who they think it is, and safe to send a large amount of money to?