The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation has recently detected a pattern of criminal activity that has the potential to cause serious financial losses to Public / Private Businesses. Up to 14 such cases have been reported to date, with potential losses of over €5m and with €100k stolen to date.
A number of businesses based around Ireland have received fraudulent instructions in recent weeks via both Email and postal correspondence instructing them to record new account details for their various clients. There is no pattern in these fraudulent account details but they do involve most financial institutions in both Ireland and the UK.
As a result of various businesses having already received these fraudulent instructions, some businesses contacted have transferred funding to various bank accounts as instructed to do so, in payment of due debts. However due to the vigilance of the various financial institutions, most of the money has been prevented from being sent in the first instance or has been indeed recovered.
Conduct an immediate review of recent business requests for changes of account details.
The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation now request that all businesses conduct an immediate review of any instructions that they have received from customers which involved a request for any change of account requests / details. As a security precaution such requests should be confirmed by verbal contact with the relevant financial control person employed in each business that purportedly sent change of account instructions as to whether they should be regarded as genuine instructions or not.
Where any business suspects that such an attempt has been made or indeed where they have received any such request; they should immediately contact their local Garda station and their personal financial institution.
The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation are presently liaising closely with the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland on this matter.
NOTE: Please see attached crime prevention advice supplied here (pdf) on the “Invoice Redirection Fraud Alert Advice Sheet” provided by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.