Gardaí warn of ongoing banking scam as businesses lose hundreds of thousands of Euro 4 months ago

Gardaí warn of ongoing banking scam as businesses lose hundreds of thousands of Euro

There has been a noticeable increase in this type of crime in recent weeks.

An Garda Síochána have issued a warning to the public about the continuing existence of a type of banking fraud which requests those targeted to change bank accounts.

The crime consists of individuals or businesses receiving an email claiming to be from a legitimate supplier, and the email contains a request that they change the bank account details that they individuals or businesses had for the legitimate supplier, to a new bank account which is controlled by the criminals sending the emails.

More often than not, the victim of the crime won't know that they have been scammed until the legitimate supplied requests the payment that has since gone into the criminal's accounts.

These requests can also sometimes come by letter, or phone call, and the Gardaí warn that everyone should treat any request to change bank account details with extreme caution.

In recent weeks, criminals have succeeded in defrauding companies for very substantial amount of money, with one company losing over €200,000, and another losing almost $500,000, while many individuals or businesses have lost smaller amounts of money.

Tips on how avoid being scammed include:

  • Trust no email full stop.
  • Check all incoming email addresses - that they are correct and coming from a trusted source, its important also to check other emails addresses copied on the mail chain, in order to check that they are also genuine.
  • Be especially vigilant for any requested changes of bank payment details, for example, amounts to be paid, account number, name of bank etc.
  • Always pick up the phone to your supplier/vendor to verbally confirm the change request details.

Detective Chief Superintendent Pat Lordan, of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, had the following advice for business: "Victims of Invoice Redirect Fraud range from very small businesses to large companies and the consequences of falling for a scam of this nature can be catastrophic and result in the closure of businesses and redundancies. If you are not sure pick up the phone and speak to someone in the invoicing company."