Local police are warning residents to remain vigilant when making payments online after a Childers farmer recently became the target of a financial scam.
Senior Community Crime Prevention Officer Sue Rewald said the local grazier recently contacted Childers Police after being targeted by scammers, resulting in the loss of a large amount of money.
“The victim had an invoice for fencing but received an email advising him of new bank account details for the company,” she said.
“Unbeknown to him, his email had been hacked, allowing the scammers to send details of a bogus bank account.
“This is an email hacking scam known as business email compromise.”
Officer Rewald said scammers often intercepted emails and changed bank account details on invoices or posed as companies advising that they have new account details.
“This type of scam can be difficult to spot as the email or invoice can appear legitimate,” she said.
“In this case, the change in bank details was the only sign it was a scam.”
Officer Rewald said police recommended contacting the supplier directly using a known phone number to verify any changes to bank account details.
“We also recommend that you prevent your computer systems from being compromised by using up-to-date security and running antivirus software,” she said.
“If you are a business, let your clients know that your banking details will never change and ask them to contact you if they receive any advice to the contrary.
“Businesses of any size can be targeted, so it is important to regularly review processes such as being careful with bank account details, checking the rules settings on email applications across all devices and ensuring customers and vendors verify any change of banking details through a second reliable means of communication other than email.”
If you have been scammed you can make a report online via ReportCyber.
If you have lost money, notify your bank immediately.
To learn more about scams visit www.scamwatch.gov.au.