Gobbill would have STOPPED this invoice fraud and saved Jane $51,000.
Gobbill would have STOPPED this invoice fraud and saved Jane $51,000.
Welcome to the National Scams Awareness Week 2020!
(Australia and New Zealand)
Gobbill has been a strong supporter in protecting people from against fraud and scams since 2015. We are proud to be a campaign partner for this year’s National Scams Awareness Week.
Throughout this week, we will be raising awareness of scams and frauds. We will focus on Phishing and Email Compromise. These are two areas of scams that Gobbill has extensive experience in confronting.
To kick off the week, we have posted a quiz titled ‘Can you spot a scam?’ on our Instagram page.
If you are here to read the explanations, please keep reading.
If you have not done the quiz, hop off this page and come back to this page for the explanations.
How did you go? Scam emails or texts can look extremely authentic and convincing through replicating legitimate messages from trusted senders.
These scams often feature official looking logos and emails and a ‘call to action’ to open a malicious link or share personal information. That’s why Gobbill has developed automated checks of domains, links and much more over the last 5 years. Gobbill fetches and/or opens attachments safely so you don’t have to.
We do this for all Australian billers including telcos, councils, utilities and many more.
We process payments to over 40,000 billers with over 1m+ Australians already having access to Gobbill’s payment platform.
For more information, contact us at: https://gobbill.com/contact/
The Australia taxation office has received reports that myGov related SMS and email scams are targeting Australians. The increased SMS and email scams coincide with tax time where millions of Australians are accessing and engaging with myGov services.
What do the scams look like?
These myGov related scams looks as if they have been sent from a myGov or ATO email address. Scammers utilise technology that allows emails to be sent in a similar way to conversation threads sent by myGov or ATO messaging.
The call to action in the email is to click a link that asks for your personal details for ‘verification purposes.’ The official advice from ATO is ‘DON’T click any links’ and ‘DON’T provide the information requested.’
Example of a scam message from the Australia Cyber Security Centre. Source: https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/view-all-content/alerts/increasing-reports-mygov-related-sms-and-email-scams-targeting-australians
How to protect yourself from myGov related scam:
If a scam email or SMS is delivered to you, do not open the links or provide any personal details or information requested.
For more information visit: https://www.cyber.gov.au/
New research from the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign by UK Finance has revealed eight in ten (80 per cent) people in UK would feel embarrassed if they fell for a financial scam.
Police Arrests following Invoice Fraud
NSW Police last week arrested and charged two men over their alleged involvement in a $2.6 million Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam syndicate. The scam involved sending altered invoices to businesses who unknowingly paid the scammers into their accounts.
One of the men is believed by police to be the leader of the syndicate and faces charges related to directing a criminal group. Police allege he gained more than $1.6 million, and unsuccessfully tried to gain nearly another $1 million through email scams from mid-2018 until early this year.
Commander of the NSW Cybercrime Squad, Matthew Craft, said cybercrime presents “a unique challenge for law enforcement”.
“These arrests are a timely reminder for all individuals and businesses to have strong cyber security measures in place for protection,” Craft said.
“During this investigation, officers uncovered a criminal network targeting hard-working Australian businesses through a series of sophisticated email scams,” Det Supt Craft said.
Police charged three other people last year in relation to the same investigation.
Business email compromise scams
Business email compromise (BEC) scams – where finance staff are deceived into paying fake invoices –are becoming increasingly common.
In 2018 alone, it was estimated that Australian businesses lost more than $60 million from this type of scam.
An ice rink in Sydney’s South West fell victim to a BEC scam earlier this year after receiving changed payment details for a new ice resurfacer it was purchasing, transferring $77,000 into an unknown Hungarian bank account.
Currently, the COVID-19 outbreak is creating a new set of challenges for businesses trying to shore up their cyber defences. There has been a rise in the number of coronavirus-related scams in recent weeks. With many Australian businesses trying to operate remotely to help encourage social distancing, networks could be more vulnerable as they are spread away from centralised IT systems.
How can you protect your business?
The Australian Cyber Security Centre has a list of strategies to mitigate the effects of cyber-attacks during the COVID-19, but one of the simplest steps business owners or accountants/bookkeepers can take to reduce their risk is to implement Gobbill as their accounts payable solution.
Gobbill is a simple, affordable bill payment automation and fraud protection tool that protects users from scams like Business Email Compromise. Our unique Know Your Biller process checks every document before it is scheduled to be paid, and intervenes to stop payment of any bills which are suspicious or have been tampered with.
Plans start from $25 per month, with a free 1 month trial on our small business plan.
To arrange a demo contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0444 599 715.
Source Articles: https://ia.acs.org.au/article/2020/police-arrest-men-over–2-6m-email-scam.html
Right now, the FBI is concerned with business email compromise, or BEC, which involves targeting an employee with access to their company’s financial infrastructure and duping them into moving money to the scammers.
FBI agent Michael Sohn of the Los Angeles Cyber Division told Wired, “[w]hen a small business gets scammed out of $200,000 or $500,00 they’re just done, they’re no longer in business.”
A similar strategy called vendor email compromise, or VEC, is also on the rise. In a typical scenario, a fraudster will create an invoice that looks identical to the real vendor’s, save for the bank account information. When the company issues payment, it once again ends up in the scammer’s account.
Juniper Research, which forecasts trends in digital technology, estimates business losses stemming from cybercrime hit $3 trillion worldwide in 2019 to over $5 trillion in 2024, an average annual growth of 11%. No one is safe from the fallout.
By the way, the Nigerian prince scam is still fooling people. Here’s why. Also known as the 419 fraud, the Nigerian prince is a variation on the centuries-old Spanish prisoner swindle, an advance-fee scam that emerged after the French Revolution, where people sent handwritten letters soliciting help for a (non-existent) nobleman falsely imprisoned. While it’s closely associated with the early internet, the Nigerian prince first went global in the 1980s when West African fraudsters began snail-mailing scam letters around the world. Today, it seems more like a punchline than a real threat, but the Nigerian prince still gets paid: in 2018, the con brought in more than $700,000 from Americans alone.
That’s why we built Gobbill, to protect businesses from fake invoices and scams. Get protected with our accounts payable fraud protection platform. https://gobbill.com
Gobbill expects to debut and showcase its “Know Your Biller™” fraud detection technology at prestigious UK investment events such as this year’s EIE20 driven by what the UK Financial Conduct Authority calls an “epidemic” of 3.8 million fraud cases reported in 2019.
Popular Science – The Nigerian prince scam is still fooling people. Here’s why. 5th March 2020
Juniper Research Hampshire, UK – 27th August 2019
Former fraud investigator for the National Disability Insurance Scheme says too few people are dealing with fraud in the system. $2B could be in fraud per annum in the $22B per annum scheme.
Source: ACCC Swamwatch 24 April 2018
The ACCC is warning consumers to beware of scammers impersonating energy and telecommunications providers and demanding payments.
Scamwatch has received 5000 reports of fake billing scams in the last 12 months, with reported losses of close to $8000.
“The scammers typically impersonate well known companies such as Origin, AGL, Telstra and Optus via email, to fool people into assuming the bills are real,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“They send bulk emails or letters which include a logo and design features closely copied from the genuine provider. The bill states the account is overdue and if not paid immediately the customer will incur late charges or be disconnected.”
“Alternatively, the bill may claim that the customer has overpaid and is owed a refund or it may simply say the bill is due and ready to pay,” Ms Rickard said.
New South Wales residents reported the highest number of incidents of the fake billing scam, with 1779 households reporting being victims, compared to 1275 in Queensland and 1245 in Victoria, 485 in Western Australia, 462 in South Australia, 132 in the ACT, 117 in Tasmania and 38 in the Northern Territory.
“Older Australians should particularly be wary of emails pretending to be from utility companies, with people over 65 reporting the most fake utility billing scam incidents,” Ms Rickard said.
“I advise consumers to contact their communications or energy provider directly via the company’s official channels to verify that the email or letter is actually from them.”
“Customers should never use the contact details provided on the suspicious email or letter but instead use an independent source to locate contact details such as a past bill or the phone book.”
In one case reported to the ACCC, a customer received a fake Telstra bill in the mail. The bill stated the customer’s account was overdue and immediate payment was needed. The customer dialled the phone number provided and was asked for his date of birth and driver’s licence number to confirm his identity.
“If customers are duped into phoning scammers they will then attempt to steal as much personal information as they can,” Ms Rickard said.
Other tips on how consumers can protect themselves:
If you receive a bill outside of your normal billing cycle, or don’t expect to receive an overdue notice, call your provider to check whether it is legitimate.
If you are not a customer of the company simply delete the email.
Never click on links or open attachments in an email from an unverified sender – they may contain a malicious virus.
Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or personal information to anyone you don’t know or trust and never by email or over the phone.
Keep your computer secure – always update your firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and only buy from a verified source.
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Co-founders Quentin Marsh and Shendon Ewans originally came up with the idea for Gobbill in a local pub. The initial concept was to help people pay bills on time.
However, when Shendon’s father fell victim to an email scam and lost his savings, Shendon and his brother Simon (a software engineer with Gobbill) took action. Email scams are rapidly increasing across Australia and around the world. Gobbill has now built in extra fraud protection and offers a solution for those looking to protect themselves from potential email scams.
This Stay Smart Online Week (9-13 October), the ACCC is warning the community to watch out for common online scams they might encounter.
The online sphere – email, the internet, social media and mobile apps – has overtaken telephones as scammers’ preferred tool of the trade to contact potential victims. In 2017, the ACCC’s Scamwatch site has received more than 51,000 reports of scammers trying to con people online. Online scam losses total nearly $37 million so far in 2017, with people aged 45 to 54 most likely to lose money.
“It’s difficult to spot a scammer online these days as they go to great lengths to trick the public and steal personal information and money,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
The top three scams that people are most likely to encounter online are:
Ms Rickard said there are some simple techniques members of the public can employ to avoid being stung by a scammer online.
“While scammers are often after your money, they’re also trying to steal your personal information, which is just as valuable. It’s important to safeguard your personal details online the same way you would your wallet,” Ms Rickard said.
“If you’re ever contacted out of the blue, particularly via email, by someone asking you to pay a bill, complete a survey or update your passwords, it pays to be sceptical. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
“If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of something online like a store, classified listing or email you receive, do you own research as others who have been stung by scammers will often post warnings for others. There are also plenty of very useful tips and advice at www.scamwatch.gov.au to avoid being stung by online scams,” Ms Rickard said.
Source and to see more information about Stay Smart Online Week.