A number of businesses and even charities have recently reported falling victim to email fraud in Gibraltar.
The type of fraud typically involves victims receiving spoof emails that look legitimate.
However email accounts can also be hacked by victims clicking on a link or attachment sent in an email by a fraudster.
It’s important to note that these scams often involve impersonating a person high up in an organisation – who is authorised to conduct bank transfers.
Fraudsters will carefully research and closely monitor their potential victims and their organisations.
This type of fraud has increased during the Covid lockdown, as more employees are working from home and communicating more by emails.
Detective Chief Inspector Tom Tunbridge, of the Economic Crime Unit, said: “Both businesses and charities should consider having safeguards and policies in place, such as a confirmation phone call which allows the employee responsible for conducting the bank transfer to be able to contact the requesting party via telephone to confirm the transaction using already known/ preapproved contact details.”
He added that a few minutes spent confirming details such as this can prevent this type of fraud.
“We live in busy times where online communication and banking allows for the rapid requesting and sending of funds worldwide and this is the very thing that the fraudsters are targeting,” he continued.
“Accounts will usually be in foreign jurisdictions and, once funds have left Gibraltar, it will often be difficult for the bank or the police to recover these monies if action is not instigated immediately.”
Individuals can also fall victim to this type of fraud and should be aware of tactics used by offenders when buying online.
The RGP’s Economic Crime Unit can be contacted on 200 72500 for advice in these matters. However there are many online websites that give good advice on these issues.
One of these is Action Fraud UK https://www.actionfraud.police.uk who provide information and tips on how to prevent becoming a victim to these types of scams.
In addition, businesses and charities can access an online workshop on the Gibraltar Financial Intelligence Unit’s (GFIU), which helps users to recognise the tactics used by criminals to hack email systems.
To access this free workshop visit www.gfiu.gov.gi/news