FILE PHOTO: Police have warned residents to be vigilant with online security following an attempted $800,000 theft from a Noosaville construction company.
FILE PHOTO: Police have warned residents to be vigilant with online security following an attempted $800,000 theft from a Noosaville construction company. Contributed

Coast construction company target of $800k cyber theft

FRAUDSTERS have attempted to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Noosaville construction company, prompting a police warning to be vigilant with cyber security.

Sunshine Coast CIB officer-in-charge Daren Edwards said the offenders attempted to take $800,000 through email hacking.

He said initial investigations showed a link to Nigerian fraud scammers.

"On one occasion victims who had engaged a builder received an email purporting to be from the builder with new account details," Detective Senior Sergeant Edwards said.

"The victims paid over $30,000 into the 'new' account and luckily a further $9000 was stopped.

"Hackers will get into either company or victims' emails."

Det Snr Sgt Edwards said police continued to see people acting as money mules for these types of frauds, believing they were in "some love interest via dating sites".

"They are being provided with warning letters where if they continue they will be charged with serious criminal offences for aiding these offenders," he said.

"People are gullible and are losing [money] themselves. One woman was identified as losing over $350,000 of life savings to what she believed was a love interest on the internet.

"The offenders keep doing it because people are naive about the people they interact with over these sites."

Det Snr Sgt Edwards urged residents to contact the company if they receive an email saying there is a new bank account details for a transaction.

"One phone call can make the difference, don't believe every email you get is legitimate," he said.



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