By Jon Griffin, Director of APL Financial

Last year when I was on leave, my office received what appeared to be a genuine email from myself requesting the transfer of funds via EFT. The email was a scam.

At a recent solicitor's trust account audit training I was made aware of how sophisticated and seemingly genuine these scams have become.

A Melbourne solicitor's emails were being captured by a fraudster and being redirected prior to being received by the solicitor. Emails and letters for a property settlement were altered so that $120,000 was sent via an EFT to an overseas bank account and the funds were lost.

These scams work by pretending to be a legitimate business like a bank, telephone service or internet provider and usually contact people asking them to confirm personal details.

The following procedures and processes are recommended:

  1. Email requests for the transfer of funds via EFT should be checked for authenticity

  2. Do not click on nay links or open attachments from emails claiming to be from your bank or another trusted organisation and asking you to update or verify your details - just delete the email.

  3. Ring the recipient requesting the funds and check the BSB and account numbers

  4. Where a request is urgent, and/or the amount is substantial, be extra vigilant

  5. BSB numbers can be held in accounting systems for payment purposes. Before entering BSB numbers and/or receiving a request to change a BSB number, ring client and confirm that the change is authentic.