Earlier this month, three men were arrested as part of a Garda investigation into two invoice redirection frauds of over €500,000. In one of the frauds, more than €300,000 was stolen from a Spanish company and redirected to an account in Ireland.
Invoice redirection fraud, which targets people in the workplace, is one of the most common types of email fraud. With invoice redirection fraud, a business gets a fraudulent email which claims to be from an existing supplier and advises that payment for future bills or invoices should go into a new bank account. The email will look similar to the emails usually sent by that supplier —but if money is transferred into the so-called new bank account, it will be going to the fraudster rather than the supplier. “Invoice redirection fraud usually happens when the fraudster has either hacked into your email — or hacked into a supplier’s email,” said Davenport.
Another common fraud is CEO fraud, where you typically receive a very demanding email from your ‘boss’ asking you to immediately transfer money to an account so that a supplier can get paid. The account however belongs to the fraudster. To avoid falling for CEO scams, watch out for emails from work colleagues which seem unusual. “People are often rushed in work, but if you get an email like this, take a break, pause, ask yourself if the email looks right, and follow up with a phone call to confirm,” said D’arcy.