GARDAÍ are urging companies to always check any email correspondence they receive regarding online financial transactions.
The warning about Invoice Redirect Fraud refers to cases where criminals send emails to businesses purporting to be one of their legitimate suppliers. The emails instruct the recipient to change details that the business has for a legitimate supplier, to bank account details that ultimately benefit the criminals.
A garda spokesman explained: “The criminal intention is that when the legitimate supplier next sends an invoice to the company seeking payment for services rendered or goods supplied, the victim business acts on the new banking instructions and sends the payment to the criminal’s bank account where the funds are quickly transferred or withdrawn. In many instances, the business does not know it is a victim of this crime until sometime later when the legitimate supplier sends a reminder invoice for payment.”
Head of the fraud squad in Cork city, Detective Sergeant Clodagh O’Sullivan, said that businesses such as solicitors and estate agents are targeted in such crimes because they are regularly transferring money.
She stressed: “Make sure when you get an email about changing business details that you pick up the phone and ask the company involved about it.”
Gardaí say that under no circumstances should contact details contained in the email or attachments be relied upon to verify the request. Instead, contact the person or number you regularly deal with.