ALERT: Kilkenny businesses and CEO’s warned of new ‘invoice’ scam
KILKENNY gardai have warned local businesses to beware of a new scam targeting companies and CEOs.
Almost €4.5 million has been stolen by criminals from Irish businesses through ‘invoice redirect’ fraud so far this year.
Gardai urged businesses to remind employees to treat any request to change bank account details “with extreme caution”.
To date in 2019, over €4.4 million worth of invoice redirect fraud, also known as CEO fraud, has been reported to gardaí.
Over €2.27 million was stolen in April alone – and in excess of €1.28 million has been recovered by gardai, financial institutions, financial intelligence units worldwide and foreign police forces.
CEO fraud involves criminals sending emails to businesses purporting to be one of their legitimate suppliers. The emails may contain a request to change the bank account details that the business has for a legitimate supplier, to bank account details that ultimately benefit the criminals.
According to gardaí, the criminal intention is when the ‘supplier’ next sends an invoice to the company seeking payment for services rendered or goods supplied.
The victim business then 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banking instructions and sends the payment to the criminal’s bank account, where the funds are quickly transferred or withdrawn.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 cases, the business doesn’t know it is a victim of invoice redirect fraud until sometime later, when the legitimate supplier sends a reminder invoice for payment.
Kilkenny gardai warned: “Many of these requests come from what may at first glance be a genuine source. Basic advice would dictate that any request should be followed up by a personal phone call to a known employee of the company purporting to request the redirection.”