THIEVES HAVE conned businesses out of €100,000 in a new invoices scam.
The scam has been reported to Gardai, who have just announced they recently detected a ‘pattern of criminal activity’ that has the potential to cause serious financial losses to businesses.
So far, up to 14 cases have been reported, with potential losses of over €5m, however €100k has been stolen.
A number of firms based around the country have received fraudulent instructions in the recent weeks via email or letter which instructed them to record new account details for their various clients.
A Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation spokesperson said: ‘There is no pattern in the fraudulent account details as they involve different financial institutions in both Ireland and the UK.
‘As a result of the various businesses having received these fraudulent instructions, these businesses transferred money to the various bank accounts in payment of due debts.
‘However due to the vigilance of the various financial institutions, most of the money was either prevented from having been sent in the first instance or recovered.’
Detectives are calling on all businesses to conduct an immediate review of any instructions that they have received from customers involving a request for a change of account details.
The spokesperson added: ‘As a security precaution it should be confirmed by verbal contact with the relevant financial control person in each business that purportedly sent change of account instructions as to whether they were genuine instructions or not.
‘Where any business suspects that such an attempt was made or indeed where they have received such a request they should immediately contact their local Garda station and their bank.
‘The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation are liaising closely with the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland.’
They recommend people study their Invoice Redirection Fraud Alert Advice Sheet.