Security Market Segment LS
Tuesday, 30 March 2021 11:03

Redirection scams soar as businesses lose $14 million-plus Featured

By
Business email compromise scams, otherwise known as payment redirection scams, plague email users Business email compromise scams, otherwise known as payment redirection scams, plague email users

Australian businesses reported over $14 million in losses to Scamwatch due to payment redirection scams last year, and average losses so far in 2021 are more than five times higher compared to average losses in the same period in 2020, according to the ACCC.

Total losses are much higher as these scams are reported to a range of different organisations, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Scamwatch service.

The ACCC says that in a payment redirection scam, also known as business email compromise scams, scammers impersonate a business or its employees via email and request that money, which usually is owed to the legitimate business, is sent to a fraudulent account.

“Payment redirection scams impact businesses across many industries, including real estate, construction, law, recruitment, and universities,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Scammers tend to target new or junior employees, or even volunteers, as they are less likely to be familiar with their employer’s finance processes or the types of requests to expect from their supervisors.

“We recommend organisations ensure their staff are well trained in the company’s payment processes and remain aware of payment redirection scams,” Rickard cautions.

The ACCC warns that payment redirection scams can take several different forms and in some instances, scammers hack into a legitimate email account and pose as the business, by intercepting legitimate invoices and amending the bank details before releasing emails to the intended recipients.

In one instance, a victim lost $16,500 in a single transaction after a scammer used a staff member’s email address to send an invoice to a customer with ‘updated bank details’, redirecting the payment to the scammer’s personal bank account.

The ACCC also warns that other times, payment redirection is done by spoofing, when scammers impersonate CEOs or other senior managers using a registered email address that is very similar to that of the genuine email address.

In these cases, the scammer will then request that staff transfer funds to them or make a payment to a third party on behalf of the business.

Scamwatch has also received reports of scammers posing as staff members, where they request the employee’s salary be paid into the scammer’s bank account.

“An increasing number of reports are coming from sports and community clubs which reported more than $55,000 in losses to payment redirection scams last year. It is likely we will see similar figures this year, with $18,000 already reported lost so far in 2021,” Rickard said.

Scammers posed as the president or treasurer and requested staff to action payments for ‘equipment’ or other business needs, but the money went straight into the scammer’s bank account, while other businesses or individuals have also inadvertently paid a scammer as a result of a payment redirection scam.

“It can be difficult to recover money lost to a payment redirection scam, so prevention is really important,” Rickard said.

“Don’t deviate from your organisation’s payment procedure, even if the request you have received appears to come from your CEO or a senior manager.

“If you have received a request that creates a sense of urgency, don’t rush. Take the time to consider and check whether an email is real, including by looking carefully at the sender’s email address, before acting on instructions.

“Whenever there is a request to change payment details, always check with the organisation using stored contact details, rather than those in the requesting communication.”

The ACCC advises that if you have been the victim of a scam, contact your bank as soon as possible and contact the platform on which you were scammed to inform them of the circumstances.


Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here

GRAND OPENING OF THE ITWIRE SHOP

The much awaited iTWire Shop is now open to our readers.

Visit the iTWire Shop, a leading destination for stylish accessories, gear & gadgets, lifestyle products and everyday portable office essentials, drones, zoom lenses for smartphones, software and online training.

PLUS Big Brands include: Apple, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sennheiser and many more.

Products available for any country.

We hope you enjoy and find value in the much anticipated iTWire Shop.

ENTER THE SHOP NOW!

INTRODUCING ITWIRE TV

iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.

SEE WHAT'S ON ITWIRE TV NOW!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments