Scam watch

Public news

Last year, there were 5800 scams, with losses exceeding $7.2 million reported. This is a 53 per cent increase compared to 2017, according to the ACCC’s latest Targeting Scams Report, which you can access by clicking here.

The majority of scams were related to what the ACCC says are ‘business email compromise’ scams, usually involving wire transfers and suppliers abroad and employ tactics such as providing fraudulent reasons for not paying direct to a company, impersonating intended payment recipients and having a business make payments to a scammer.

The ACCC’s Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said, “Scammers are hacking business email systems and impersonating the intended payment recipient. The scammers request changes to bank account details so that the business makes the payment to the scammer instead of the legitimate business.”

“Depending on how long the scammers get away with this and how large the transfers are, this scam can be devastating to a business’s bottom line – to the extent of forcing small and medium businesses into closure.”

Businesses with less than 20 staff are most likely to be targeted by email scammers and account for 75 per cent of reports to the ACCC.

Mr Keogh said, “Australian businesses must protect themselves by ensuring their staff are aware of these scams so they can identify and avoid them. Every business should have clear processes for transferring money and a procedure for verifying requests to change bank account details that uses multiple modes of communication.”

Australian businesses are encouraged to visit Scam Watch by clicking here to learn more about scams targeting them and how to protect themselves.

We also encourage you to let us know at the MTA if you have encountered a scam affecting your business so that we can let the wider MTA community know as well. Contact our Workplace Relations by clicking here.