Payment redirection scams mounted to USD 227 million in 2021: ACCC report

Friday 8 July 2022 13:33 CET | News

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s has published its 'Targeting Scams' report, stating a 77% increase in payment redirection scams compared to 2020.

The report compiles data from Scamwatch, ReportCyber, major banks, and money remitters, and other government agencies. It shows that payment redirection scams, also known as business email compromise, were one of the most financially damaging scams for Australian businesses in 2021.

In a payment redirection scam, scammers impersonate a business or its employees via email and request an upcoming payment be redirected to a fraudulent account.

ACCC’s officials stated that they would like to see overseas initiatives such as confirmation of payee implemented in Australia, where banks automatically check to see if account name and account numbers match. They believe it may reduce the losses to scams that they are seeing.

Based on Scamwatch data alone, false billing scams, which include payment redirection scams, had the highest losses with USD 6.7 million.

Businesses that are the victims of a cybercrime, such as payment redirection scams or ransomware, should report the incident to ReportCyber as soon as possible. ReportCyber is run by the Australian Cyber Security Centre and passes reports to law enforcement agencies for assessment and intelligence purposes.

Reports to Scamwatch also show Australian farm businesses lost over USD 1.5 million in 2021 to scammers who targeted the agricultural sector. The most common scam targeting farmers involved the sale of tractors and other farm machinery, with losses of USD 1.4 million in 2021.

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Keywords: scam, report, fraud prevention, cybercrime, ransomware
Categories: Fraud & Financial Crime
Companies: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Countries: Australia
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Fraud & Financial Crime

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

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