Personal injury lawyers are being warned to check they are not paying fraudsters for false invoices for diagnosis of whiplash cases.

Medco, the accreditation scheme for medical experts, said today it has become aware of a potential scam involving invoices raised against genuine medical appointments.

Fraudsters appear to have hacked the electronic diaries of medical experts to steal appointment details, then sent false invoices to lawyers who had instructed them.

MedCo has said its system has not been hacked and it does not hold details of any appointments or personal, sensitive data.

But it has written to all users to alert them to the potential fraud risk. Medical reporting organisations and medical experts have been advised to ensure they have robust IT security measures in place, while lawyers are urged to closely monitor and cross-check medical report invoices for validity.

Meanwhile, as part of MedCo’s ongoing audit programme, the company’s board has removed tier one status from four medical reporting organisations - meaning they will not regularly appear in random searches for accredited experts to carry out diagnosis. A further two MROs have been suspended from the top tier.

MedCo said the quartet had failed to meet the required criteria as outlined last October and will drop down to tier two. Tier one providers are expected to be high-volume national outfits, capable of processing at least 40,000 independent medico-legal expert reports a year and with a minimum of two years of trading history.

The six affected MROs are allowed to complete existing instructions using MedCo accredited medical expects to avoid any impact on ongoing cases.