Charges laid after nearly $180,000 obtained through email scam - Cybercrime Squad

Friday, 03 September 2021 01:11:32 PM

Cybercrime Squad detectives have charged a woman after nearly $180,000 was allegedly netted through a business email compromise scam.

In June this year, detectives from State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad established Strike Force Urban to investigate after more than $178,000 was obtained from a Commonwealth government agency through an email compromise scam.

Initial inquiries revealed that an altered invoice had been sent to a legitimate business for payment through an email scam.

Following extensive investigations, strike force detectives arrested a 43-year-old woman at Kings Cross Police Station just before 8pm yesterday (Thursday 2 September 2021).

She was subsequently charged with recklessly deal with proceeds of crime.

The Potts Point woman was granted strict conditional bail to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday 21 September 2021.

Cybercrime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Matthew Craft, said scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to obtain money from individuals and businesses.

“Business email compromises are on the rise as more and more businesses move to complete electronic accounting systems,” Det Supt Craft said.

“Many of these scams are quite sophisticated, but there is almost always a ‘tell’; we urge all businesses to ensure their accounts teams are vigilant when dealing with requests to vary account details or payment methods.

“The most important advice we can provide is for staff to be suspicious about these types of requests and take the time to verify the authenticity of the email, whether it be via phone or a fresh email.”

Det Supt Craft added that the key to protecting your business is a thorough review of internal practices and regular communication.

“It is imperative for all businesses to develop systems to combat against business email compromises, which includes educating staff on the possibility and prevalence of email compromise,” Det Supt Craft said.

“The NSW Police Force regularly partner with financial institutions when assessing and investigating matters of this nature, and it is through this strong working relationship that detectives can act swiftly to disrupt and combat these scams.”

Reports of online fraud can be made to the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 or to local police.

Anyone with information about cyber-enabled crime 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.