Police are investigating a sophisticated ‘false billing’ scam which has targeted a Murraylands business.
On Thursday 1st April 2021, the organisation had a large upgrade project carried out by a legitimate company. Once the upgrade works were complete, the victim received a legitimate invoice from the company who carried out the work.
Between the period of receiving the invoice, and paying the invoice, the company received another email from a scammer purporting to be the legitimate company requesting the victim pay the owed monies (approximately $153,000) to a different bank account.
The victim then paid the outstanding invoice, believing they were making a payment to the proper supplier, not to the scammers.
These sophisticated scams can appear very authentic, with suspicions not triggered in some instances because the money is paid into an Australian bank account before being moved to a third “off shore” account.
These interstate ‘mules’ can face very serious money laundering charges which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment.
Australian businesses lost between $14 million and $100 million in payment redirection scams last year, and average losses so far in 2021 are more than five times higher than this time last year.
Police urge businesses to be vigilant, no matter what size, if a supplier of services or goods contacts your organisation to provide new bank account details for you to pay money owed.
For further information visit scamwatch.gov.au or to report a cybercrime and online incidents which may be in breach of Australian Law this can be done through the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) acorn.gov.au.
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