Police are warning local businesses to be vigilant after a scam email was sent.
Police are warning local businesses to be vigilant after a scam email was sent. Scott Powick

Mackay business targeted in email scam

MACKAY police are warning residents to stay aware online after a local business was targeted in an elaborate email scam.

Senior Constable Steve Smith said a finance officer working at a business within the Mackay district received an email from a person claiming to be the Chief Executive Officer.

"If you are the finance officer of an organisation and you receive any email from the Chief Executive Officer, you typically don't question the email - you action it and cyber-criminals count on this," Snr Const Smith said.

 

Mackay Police have shared a screenshot of a scam email sent to a local business. Police believe the person behind the email
Mackay Police have shared a screenshot of a scam email sent to a local business. Police believe the person behind the email "examined the structure" of the organisation before contacting it. Contributed

The email which attempted to gather sensitive information was in-fact not generated by the organisation's C.E.O.

"The criminal involved has examined the structure of the organisation and identified individuals in key positions for example the C.E.O. and finance officer," Snr Const Smith said.

"It almost worked, if not for a hallway face to face conversation between the finance officer and the C.E.O. involved.

"Email account take-overs or spoofing (mimicking) of genuine emails are a strategy that cyber criminals use frequently to obtain sensitive information or to benefit financially."

You can view how criminals use business email accounts in other ways in to benefit themselves in the following scamwatch report - click here to view the information.

Tips to reduce your chances of becoming a victim:

  • Be aware of over-sharing sensitive information. Criminals are seeking identifiable information about who is working in critical roles - EG finance officers, pay-roll, C.E.O.
  • If you receive an email request from a business you deal with to change bank accounts that you make payments into - always confirm the change by way of a phone call or in person.
  • Use a good anti-virus system - keep it updated 🙂

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QI1900492729



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