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Invoice Redirect Fraud warning 14.08.20

GARDAΝ warn businesses of the continuing existence of Invoice Redirect Fraud and to treat any request to change bank account details with extreme caution.
On 11th August 2020, the Bank of Ireland reported to the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) that a business customer of theirs had been the victim of an invoice redirect scam and had lost just over €2.1m.
The Dublin based business was making a payment to a UK company when they received an email purporting to be from this UK business asking them to send the payment to a new bank account number. The Irish business contacted the number supplied in the email and the person who answered the phone confirmed that all was in order. The money was then sent to the new bank account which later transpired to be in Hong Kong. The phone number contained in the email was fraud and the Irish business was actually talking to the scammer.

On receipt of the complaint from Bank of Ireland, GNECB immediately initiated enquiries with the bank in Hong Kong before seeking the assistance of the authorities there. Following investigations conducted by the police in Hong Kong on behalf of GNECB, the stolen money was secured and its return is now being arranged.

GNECB would like to advise businesses to be wary of such crimes and gives the following advice:
• Ensure that great care and attention is given each time they are asked to change bank account details.
• A phone call should be made to a representative of the company confirming that the bank account is changed and care needs to be taken to ensure that they are talking to a representation of the business and not the fraudster.
• Under no circumstances should contact details contained in the email or attachments be relied upon to verify the request whether these consist of a physical address, an email address or a phone number.
• When working from home be mindful when carrying out roles you would not usually do.
• It is also imperative that where staff are using private computers / laptop for work purposes from their homes that the antivirus software is kept up to date.

Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan explains: "In many instances the business does not know it is a victim of this crime until sometime later when the legitimate supplier sends a reminder invoice for payment.
It is important to note that victims of Invoice Redirect Fraud range from very small businesses to large corporations and the consequences of falling for a scam of this nature can be catastrophic and can result in the closure of businesses. All employees should receive training in relation to avoiding this type of scam.”
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