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Company directors falling prey to banking phone and email scams

Gardaí have issued a warning today.
Dec 23rd 2014, 2:54 PM 11,859 6

GARDAÍ HAVE ISSUED a warning about phone and email scams as a number of banking customers have fallen prey to frauds in recent weeks.

The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation has said there are two main ways criminals extracted information from their victims – over the phone and by email.

During phone calls, the fraudsters invented scenarios to engage the targeted victims in a manner that increased the chance he/she would divulge information or perform actions that would usually be unlikely.

Having obtained enough information, they were able to take control of the victims’ bank account, including full details of online banking passwords.

At this point, customers have had high amounts of money stolen from them – with the culprit making large payments out of their account.

Email Scams

Company directors are particularly susceptible to email scams, according to gardaí who say that the personal email accounts of people with high net worth are being compromised.

Many of the cases have evolved after the individual responds to a phishing email.

“Having gained unlawful access to the company director’s e-mail account, the hacker will familiarise themselves with the email correspondence therein.

“The hacker will then issue e-mails from this account, posing as the company director, providing an excuse as to why all contact with him must be by email – for example, ‘I’m boarding a plane and will be out of reach’.

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The hacker will then either contact the bank purporting to be the company director, and instruct that a payment be made to a fraudulent beneficiary account, or contact a colleague in the company’s finance department instructing the issuance of a high value payment to a fraudulent beneficiary.

In this latter situation, the bank will have been given a legitimate payment instruction by the finance department.

Gardaí issued the warning this afternoon following a number of reports of successful frauds in these ways.

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Sinead O'Carroll


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