IT suppliers beware! There’s an email scam floating around targeting Australian small to medium IT suppliers, according to the Australian Cyber Security Centre.
Dubbed the ‘freight forwarding scam’, cybercrims send out socially engineered emails requesting quotes on goods such as hard drives and laptops.
Scammers spoof domains, emails and signatures of actual executives from universities or large corporations to fool would-be victims.
If the victim responds, the scammers attempt to gain credit either by delaying payment or requesting credit for 14 or 30 days. The victim is then directed to send the hardware to an Australian freight forwarding company then handed off to another scammer for delivery.
Scammers then attempt to rip off the delivery company by paying with stolen credit cards or requesting credit again. Shipments are sent to overseas locations, mostly in the UK and South East Asia, and are almost impossible to recover once shipped.
The ACSC said “a number” of Aussie businesses have already been forced to shut up shop since the scam popped up due to their losses. The average amount losses ranges between $30,000 and $100,000, with the largest being $170,000. In total, the scam has taken more than $700,000 from Aussie businesses so far.
Businesses can protect themselves from scammers by remaining diligent on new customers, checking domains are legitimate and contacting customers by phone to confirm orders. They should also confirm that delivery addresses are genuine prior to shopping.
If a business has already been compromised, they can report the incident to the ACSC’s ReportCyber website.