How the Met Office operates — procuring goods, services and works
An important message for existing and potential suppliers to the Met Office
FRAUDULENT EMAILS AND PURCHASE ORDERS
We want to alert you to a fraud scam that is targeting existing and potential suppliers of equipment to the Met Office, as well as other businesses, nationally and globally. Please take the necessary precautions so that you are not a victim of this scam.
The scam operates in the following way:
- A supplier will receive an email or phone call requesting a quotation for specific item/s of equipment. These may be in large or small quantities and of low to high values
- Once the quotation has been provided, a purchase order is emailed to the supplier that bears resemblance to an authentic Met Office purchase order
- The purchase order typically instructs delivery to an address that may or may not be affiliated with the Met Office
- After shipping the item/s of equipment, the supplier never receives payment and is unable to retrieve the shipped products
Identifying fraudulent emails and purchase orders
The following will be evident in these fraudulent emails and purchase orders:
- An incorrect domain name will be used to send emails and purchase orders. Ensure you verify the order is valid with the Met Office. We advise all suppliers to consult with their IT or cyber security advisors to ensure they remain vigilant and informed on how to identify a suspicious communication.
- The delivery address may or may not be a Met Office address.
- The email will often be poorly written with grammatical, spelling or language usage errors.
- Use of a false or unknown contact from the Met Office may be used. If requests for quotations or purchase orders are received from a new Met Office contact that raises your suspicion, please contact a member of the Commercial and Procurement Team to verify the validity of the request. Do not contact the name/number used on the email/purchase order.
- Phone numbers (particularly mobile numbers) not associated with the Met Office may be used. Typically a mobile number may be a “personal number” starting with “070”. The Met Office will never use a mobile number as a first contact number for a purchase.
- The order can be for a variety of products and may be for products not normally purchased by the Met Office.
- Various quantities may be requested but many will be for large orders.
- Orders may request to ship priority or overnight.
If you are ever unsure about a quotation request sent by email, or the subsequent purchase order, please contact the Met Office Commercial and Procurement Team as follows: [email protected].
Please do not attempt to call any phone numbers contained within the fraudulent emails that purport to be Met Office numbers as they may attract a service charge.
Advice for suppliers
In addition to the above information, suppliers should note the following:
- If you are ever unsure about a quotation request sent by email, or the subsequent purchase order, please contact our Commercial and Procurement Team or a known Met Office contact
- Please do not attempt to call any phone numbers contained within the fraudulent emails that purport to be Met Office numbers as they may attract a large, international service charge
- Consult with your IT or cyber security advisors to ensure all are informed on how to identify a suspicious communication
- Report the incident on Action Fraud (opens in new window), the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can report fraud or cybercrime using their online reporting service (opens in new window) at any time; the service enables suppliers to both report a fraud and find help and support. You can also get help by calling 0300 123 2040 to speak to their fraud and internet crime specialists. When you report to Action Fraud you will receive a police crime reference number. Reports taken are passed to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (opens in new window). Action Fraud does not investigate cases and cannot advise you on the progress of a case.
What we are doing
The Met Office is reporting all instances of known fraudulent activity to the Police via Action Fraud (opens in new window).
We are compiling evidence for all reported incidents. If you have received any suspicious emails we would also be very grateful if you forward to [email protected]. so these can be added to the evidence file.
We are contacting existing suppliers that may be subject to this type of fraudulent activity in order to raise awareness and provide basic guidance on how to deal with it.
Keeping relevant Met Office staff members aware of all activities and updates to this situation.
Met Office Tendering Portal
The Met Office buys a wide range of products and services. To view details of our current procurement activity use the links below to our eTendering Opportunities Portal:
For an introduction to the procurement process within Government and help to identify new business opportunities, please access Doing Business With Government: guide for SMEs (Small & Medium Enterprises) https://www.gov.uk/guidance/doing-business-with-government-a-guide-for-smes.