Crime Stoppers

Fraud investigation Alice Springs

Friday 01-Jun-2018 10:11

Northern Territory Police are urging businesses to update their anti-virus software and beware of an invoice email scam after one man lost $50,000.

It is alleged the man reported the theft on May 22 to Alice Springs Police after one of his clients raised attention regarding an invoice payment redirection.

“It appears the man’s email has been compromised and the offenders have continued to use his business tax invoices and request payment from existing clients into a new account, said Senior Constable King Sun

“The man was completely unaware of the email requests and conversations between the offenders and his clients via email until one of his clients ended up raising the issue of payment redirection with him.

“Two clients paid significant sums of cash into an account, which is likely an account of either a knowing or unwitting Money Mule.”

The scam is called a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam and involved scammers presenting to be legitimate suppliers advising of changes to payment arrangements.

“As our daily workings essentially evolve more around online systems, I cannot stress enough to people to become aware and ensure they have adequate anti-viral software installed and updates to prevent becoming a victim, said Senior Constable Sun

“It’s also a timely reminder that while email and texting are fantastic ways of communicating, if you have any concerns regarding payment then it may pay to raise in a verbal discussion.”

Business owners can take control by:

  • Activate the Two-factor authentication: so you are alerted to any attempts to gain access to your personal and business accounts by anyone else other than you.
  • If you think you’re accounts have been hacked – change all passwords on email accounts and computers.
  • Install a good security package on their computers/devices and regularly install any updates
  • Email your client base regarding any future emails they receive about change of bank details and tell them to call you to discuss, clarify and confirm details are not a scam.
  • If you believe your personal details have been accessed by someone other than you, contact ID Care at www.idcare.org.au or call ID Care on 1300 432 273

The incident remains under investigation by Alice Springs Police.

Anyone who believes they may have fallen victim to scammers or if they believe their email/online accounts have been compromised are urged to report it online to ACORN the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network at www.acorn.gov.au