Police Arrests following Invoice Fraud
NSW Police last week arrested and charged two men over their alleged involvement in a $2.6 million Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam syndicate. The scam involved sending altered invoices to businesses who unknowingly paid the scammers into their accounts.
One of the men is believed by police to be the leader of the syndicate and faces charges related to directing a criminal group. Police allege he gained more than $1.6 million, and unsuccessfully tried to gain nearly another $1 million through email scams from mid-2018 until early this year.
Commander of the NSW Cybercrime Squad, Matthew Craft, said cybercrime presents “a unique challenge for law enforcement”.
“These arrests are a timely reminder for all individuals and businesses to have strong cyber security measures in place for protection,” Craft said.
“During this investigation, officers uncovered a criminal network targeting hard-working Australian businesses through a series of sophisticated email scams,” Det Supt Craft said.
Police charged three other people last year in relation to the same investigation.
Business email compromise scams
Business email compromise (BEC) scams – where finance staff are deceived into paying fake invoices –are becoming increasingly common.
In 2018 alone, it was estimated that Australian businesses lost more than $60 million from this type of scam.
An ice rink in Sydney’s South West fell victim to a BEC scam earlier this year after receiving changed payment details for a new ice resurfacer it was purchasing, transferring $77,000 into an unknown Hungarian bank account.
Currently, the COVID-19 outbreak is creating a new set of challenges for businesses trying to shore up their cyber defences. There has been a rise in the number of coronavirus-related scams in recent weeks. With many Australian businesses trying to operate remotely to help encourage social distancing, networks could be more vulnerable as they are spread away from centralised IT systems.
How can you protect your business?
The Australian Cyber Security Centre has a list of strategies to mitigate the effects of cyber-attacks during the COVID-19, but one of the simplest steps business owners or accountants/bookkeepers can take to reduce their risk is to implement Gobbill as their accounts payable solution.
Gobbill is a simple, affordable bill payment automation and fraud protection tool that protects users from scams like Business Email Compromise. Our unique Know Your Biller process checks every document before it is scheduled to be paid, and intervenes to stop payment of any bills which are suspicious or have been tampered with.
Plans start from $25 per month, with a free 1 month trial on our small business plan.
To arrange a demo contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0444 599 715.
Source Articles: https://ia.acs.org.au/article/2020/police-arrest-men-over–2-6m-email-scam.html