Man charged over alleged $709,000 business email compromise scam - Cybercrime Squad

Wednesday, 15 March 2023 03:59:59 AM

A man will appear in court today charged following an investigation into an alleged business email compromise scam.

In May last year, investigators from the State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad received reports a law firm had been subject to a business email compromise scam.

A BEC occurs when an individual or a company receives a fake invoice purporting to be from a service or goods provider, requesting that money be sent to a fraudulent account.

Strike Force Madeleine was established to investigate the report, and inquiries revealed an employee of the Sydney business had unknowingly transferred electronic funds into a fraudulent account.

It was further revealed a compromised email address of a paralegal at the firm had been utilised to source an invoice and alter the banking details.

Following extensive investigations, a 58-year-old man was arrested by detectives at a home in Toormina, about 7.30am on Thursday 23 February 2023.

He was taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station and charged with knowingly deal with proceeds of crime.

Police will allege in court that the man was the recipient of the stolen funds and dealt with the proceeds of crime to the value of $709,198.00.

The man was granted conditional bail to appear before Coffs Harbour Local Court today (Wednesday 15 March 2023).

Cybercrime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Matthew Craft, said it is imperative that individuals and businesses remain alert and be vigilant when conducting transactions online.

“These scams are costing hard-working Australian businesses and individuals millions of dollars every year, and the attempts of scammers to obtain personal details and money are getting increasingly sophisticated,” Det Supt Craft said.

“Educate yourself on what BEC scams are, and ensure you question the legitimacy of payment requests, including the originating email address, URL and spelling used in correspondence.

“We would encourage businesses to ensure their electronic payment practices are stringent and implement internal controls such as two-person verification and standard operating procedures to follow, to protect against business email compromises.

“If you do get scammed, early reporting is critical. Don’t delay in notifying your employer, financial institutions and police as soon as practicable so action can be taken,” Det Supt Craft said.

Anyone with information about online fraud of BEC scams is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.