News Police

Charged over fraud as scams double

VIGILANT bank employees have saved a telecommunications business from losing $177,000 after it was allegedly targeted in a business email compromise (BEC) scam.

Last year, the State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad established Strike Force Urban to investigate numerous fraudulent transactions resulting from cyber-enabled ‘invoice frauds’, or business email compromise (BEC) scams.
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.
As part of ongoing inquiries, detectives were notified last September after an employee of a Sydney business deposited more than $177,000 into a fraudulent account upon receiving an altered invoice for payment.
Following investigations, a 23-year-old man was arrested at a home in Guildford last Friday and charged with recklessly deal with proceeds of crime more than $5,000.
Police will allege the man facilitated the email scam and dealt with proceeds of crime to the value of $177,000.
Cybercrime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Matthew Craft, said scams such as BECs were becoming increasingly costly for both individuals and businesses across Australia.
“The alleged victim was lucky in that much of the $177,000 was frozen after checks and balances from the banks, however, they still remain out of pocket more than $20,000 from this scam,” Det Supt Craft said.
“Recent data by the ACCC shows that in 2021, scammers stole more than double the amount from us than they did the previous year.
“Phishing scams – which in the case of this BEC scam was how the person’s email address became compromised – increased 183 per cent from 2019 to 2020, and a further 62 per cent last year.