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Posts in Internet Safety

Invoice Fraud – Is your business Protected? What is it worth to you?

April 7th, 2020 Posted by Featured, Internet Safety, Payments, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “Invoice Fraud – Is your business Protected? What is it worth to you?”
07/04/2020
Police Arrests following Invoice Fraud
NSW Police last week arrested and charged two men over their alleged involvement in a $2.6 million Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam syndicate. The scam involved sending altered invoices to businesses who unknowingly paid the scammers into their accounts.

One of the men is believed by police to be the leader of the syndicate and faces charges related to directing a criminal group. Police allege he gained more than $1.6 million, and unsuccessfully tried to gain nearly another $1 million through email scams from mid-2018 until early this year.

Commander of the NSW Cybercrime Squad, Matthew Craft, said cybercrime presents “a unique challenge for law enforcement”.
“These arrests are a timely reminder for all individuals and businesses to have strong cyber security measures in place for protection,” Craft said.

“During this investigation, officers uncovered a criminal network targeting hard-working Australian businesses through a series of sophisticated email scams,” Det Supt Craft said.
Police charged three other people last year in relation to the same investigation.

Business email compromise scams
Business email compromise (BEC) scams – where finance staff are deceived into paying fake invoices –are becoming increasingly common.

In 2018 alone, it was estimated that Australian businesses lost more than $60 million from this type of scam.

An ice rink in Sydney’s South West fell victim to a BEC scam earlier this year after receiving changed payment details for a new ice resurfacer it was purchasing, transferring $77,000 into an unknown Hungarian bank account.

Currently, the COVID-19 outbreak is creating a new set of challenges for businesses trying to shore up their cyber defences. There has been a rise in the number of coronavirus-related scams in recent weeks. With many Australian businesses trying to operate remotely to help encourage social distancing, networks could be more vulnerable as they are spread away from centralised IT systems.

How can you protect your business?
The Australian Cyber Security Centre has a list of strategies to mitigate the effects of cyber-attacks during the COVID-19, but one of the simplest steps business owners or accountants/bookkeepers can take to reduce their risk is to implement Gobbill as their accounts payable solution.

Gobbill is a simple, affordable bill payment automation and fraud protection tool that protects users from scams like Business Email Compromise. Our unique Know Your Biller process checks every document before it is scheduled to be paid, and intervenes to stop payment of any bills which are suspicious or have been tampered with.

Plans start from $25 per month, with a free 1 month trial on our small business plan.

To arrange a demo contact erica@gobbill.com.au or call 0444 599 715.

Source Articles: https://ia.acs.org.au/article/2020/police-arrest-men-over–2-6m-email-scam.html
https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/australians-arrested-over-26m/

Business losses to exceed $5 trillion in 2024

March 5th, 2020 Posted by Case Studies, Internet Safety 0 thoughts on “Business losses to exceed $5 trillion in 2024”

Right now, the FBI is concerned with business email compromise, or BEC, which involves targeting an employee with access to their company’s financial infrastructure and duping them into moving money to the scammers.

FBI agent Michael Sohn of the Los Angeles Cyber Division told Wired, “[w]hen a small business gets scammed out of $200,000 or $500,00 they’re just done, they’re no longer in business.”

A similar strategy called vendor email compromise, or VEC, is also on the rise. In a typical scenario, a fraudster will create an invoice that looks identical to the real vendor’s, save for the bank account information. When the company issues payment, it once again ends up in the scammer’s account.

Juniper Research, which forecasts trends in digital technology, estimates business losses stemming from cybercrime hit $3 trillion worldwide in 2019 to over $5 trillion in 2024, an average annual growth of 11%. No one is safe from the fallout. 

By the way, the Nigerian prince scam is still fooling people. Here’s why. Also known as the 419 fraud, the Nigerian prince is a variation on the centuries-old Spanish prisoner swindle, an advance-fee scam that emerged after the French Revolution, where people sent handwritten letters soliciting help for a (non-existent) nobleman falsely imprisoned. While it’s closely associated with the early internet, the Nigerian prince first went global in the 1980s when West African fraudsters began snail-mailing scam letters around the world. Today, it seems more like a punchline than a real threat, but the Nigerian prince still gets paid: in 2018, the con brought in more than $700,000 from Americans alone.

That’s why we built Gobbill, to protect businesses from fake invoices and scams. Get protected with our accounts payable fraud protection platform. https://gobbill.com

Gobbill expects to debut and showcase its “Know Your Biller™” fraud detection technology at prestigious UK investment events such as this year’s EIE20 driven by what the UK Financial Conduct Authority calls an “epidemic” of 3.8 million fraud cases reported in 2019.

Sources:

Popular Science – The Nigerian prince scam is still fooling people. Here’s why. 5th March 2020

https://www.popsci.com/story/technology/nigerian-prince-scam-social-engineering/

Juniper Research Hampshire, UK – 27th August 2019

https://www.juniperresearch.com/press/press-releases/business-losses-cybercrime-data-breaches

John Higgins

$22 billion dollar per annum NDIS hit by up to $2B in fraud says former fraud investigator

February 17th, 2020 Posted by Gobbill News, Internet Safety, Payments 0 thoughts on “$22 billion dollar per annum NDIS hit by up to $2B in fraud says former fraud investigator”

Former fraud investigator for the National Disability Insurance Scheme says too few people are dealing with fraud in the system. $2B could be in fraud per annum in the $22B per annum scheme.

ACCC Scamwatch received 5000 reports of fake billing scams in the last 12months. Scammers impersonating energy and telecommunications companies via email.

April 24th, 2018 Posted by Alerts, Internet Safety, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “ACCC Scamwatch received 5000 reports of fake billing scams in the last 12months. Scammers impersonating energy and telecommunications companies via email.”

Beware of scammers impersonating energy and telecommunications companies

Source: ACCC Swamwatch 24 April 2018

The ACCC is warning consumers to beware of scammers impersonating energy and telecommunications providers and demanding payments.

Scamwatch has received 5000 reports of fake billing scams in the last 12 months, with reported losses of close to $8000.

“The scammers typically impersonate well known companies such as Origin, AGL, Telstra and Optus via email, to fool people into assuming the bills are real,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“They send bulk emails or letters which include a logo and design features closely copied from the genuine provider. The bill states the account is overdue and if not paid immediately the customer will incur late charges or be disconnected.”

“Alternatively, the bill may claim that the customer has overpaid and is owed a refund or it may simply say the bill is due and ready to pay,” Ms Rickard said.

New South Wales residents reported the highest number of incidents of the fake billing scam, with 1779 households reporting being victims, compared to 1275 in Queensland and 1245 in Victoria, 485 in Western Australia, 462 in South Australia, 132 in the ACT, 117 in Tasmania and 38 in the Northern Territory.

 

“Older Australians should particularly be wary of emails pretending to be from utility companies, with people over 65 reporting the most fake utility billing scam incidents,” Ms Rickard said.

“I advise consumers to contact their communications or energy provider directly via the company’s official channels to verify that the email or letter is actually from them.”

“Customers should never use the contact details provided on the suspicious email or letter but instead use an independent source to locate contact details such as a past bill or the phone book.”

In one case reported to the ACCC, a customer received a fake Telstra bill in the mail. The bill stated the customer’s account was overdue and immediate payment was needed. The customer dialled the phone number provided and was asked for his date of birth and driver’s licence number to confirm his identity.

“If customers are duped into phoning scammers they will then attempt to steal as much personal information as they can,” Ms Rickard said.

Other tips on how consumers can protect themselves:

If you receive a bill outside of your normal billing cycle, or don’t expect to receive an overdue notice, call your provider to check whether it is legitimate.
If you are not a customer of the company simply delete the email.
Never click on links or open attachments in an email from an unverified sender – they may contain a malicious virus.
Never send money or give credit card details, online account details or personal information to anyone you don’t know or trust and never by email or over the phone.
Keep your computer secure – always update your firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and only buy from a verified source.

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Gobbill is featured in media across Australia

February 13th, 2018 Posted by Case Studies, Gobbill News, Internet Safety, Product Features, Startup, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “Gobbill is featured in media across Australia”

Co-founders Quentin Marsh and Shendon Ewans originally came up with the idea for Gobbill in a local pub. The initial concept was to help people pay bills on time.

However, when Shendon’s father fell victim to an email scam and lost his savings, Shendon and his brother Simon (a software engineer with Gobbill) took action. Email scams are rapidly increasing across Australia and around the world. Gobbill has now built in extra fraud protection and offers a solution for those looking to protect themselves from potential email scams.

Read the Sydney Morning Herald article.

Read The Age article.

 

ACCC reports online scam losses total nearly $37 million so far in 2017. 45 to 54 y/o most likely to lose money.

October 10th, 2017 Posted by Alerts, Internet Safety, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “ACCC reports online scam losses total nearly $37 million so far in 2017. 45 to 54 y/o most likely to lose money.”

This Stay Smart Online Week (9-13 October), the ACCC is warning the community to watch out for common online scams they might encounter.

The online sphere – email, the internet, social media and mobile apps – has overtaken telephones as scammers’ preferred tool of the trade to contact potential victims. In 2017, the ACCC’s Scamwatch site has received more than 51,000 reports of scammers trying to con people online. Online scam losses total nearly $37 million so far in 2017, with people aged 45 to 54 most likely to lose money.

 

Video transcript.

“It’s difficult to spot a scammer online these days as they  go to great lengths  to trick the public and steal personal information and money,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

The top three scams that people are most likely to encounter online are:

  • Phishing – often delivered via email, scammers will pretend to be from well-known businesses and government departments to con unsuspecting victims out of their personal information and money. For example they might say they’re from Apple and you need to reset your password for security reasons, or they may offer you a gift voucher to a major supermarket for completing a ‘survey’.
  • False billing – scammers will pretend to be from a utility provider such as your phone or energy company and send you a fake bill. These scams can be very hard to pick as the fake bills scammers send look authentic.
  • Buying and selling – scammers will trick people who are looking to buy or sell goods online. For example, they may set up a fake online store that sells well-known brands at seemingly too-good-to-be-true prices; or they may set up a fake listing on a classifieds website.

Ms Rickard said there are some simple techniques members of the public can employ to avoid being stung by a scammer online.

“While scammers are often after your money, they’re also trying to steal your personal information, which is just as valuable. It’s important to safeguard your personal details online the same way you would your wallet,” Ms Rickard said.

“If you’re ever contacted out of the blue, particularly via email, by someone asking you to pay a bill, complete a survey or update your passwords, it pays to be sceptical. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

“If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of something online like a store, classified listing or email you receive, do you own research as others who have been stung by scammers will often post warnings for others. There are also plenty of very useful tips and advice at www.scamwatch.gov.au to avoid being stung by online scams,” Ms Rickard said.

Source and to see more information about Stay Smart Online Week.

Shop Around and Spend Less

September 28th, 2017 Posted by Financial Management, Internet Safety, Time Management 0 thoughts on “Shop Around and Spend Less”

If you’re working to a tight budget, you could save hundreds or even thousands by changing your everyday household service providers. With rising electricity prices, now more than ever it’s time to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Is that 10% off an an actual saving or are there hidden costs? Does the price include uneccessary extras? Do the research and you could be rewarded.

Mr. David Baybrooke spoke to Gobbill about how he avoided high electricity prices simply by shopping around. “I switched electricity providers and saved $178 per quarter,” he stated. “I changed from Origin to AGL. A substantial saving there!”

“Shopping around for the best prices is an absolute must I think. On a reduced income, I find price comparison essential!”

Advice for Gobbill users?

“Online research,” says David. “Always looking for great deals! I’ve been looking at Big Switch and I’ve also been helped by a comparison service to find the best rates. Lots of effort put in.”

If you have shopped around and saved Share it with us here: gobbill@gobbill.com.au

Want to learn more?

Read our blog on how to get the most from your billers here.

Have you been caught short by direct debits?

August 18th, 2017 Posted by Financial Management, Internet Safety, Time Management 0 thoughts on “Have you been caught short by direct debits?”

Want to dispute a bill? Low on cash towards the end of the month? Too late, your account has already been debited. While direct debit can save you the hassle of bill payments, being locked into fixed automated payments can also get you into trouble.

With direct debit, billers don’t need to contact you or ask for permission before withdrawing funds. This gives a third party control over payments, potentially leaving you with extra fees or bills for products you no longer use. So, if you’re thinking about setting up a direct debit, make sure you understand the pros and cons. Read our article about direct debits.

Ms. Ocea Smith spoke to the Gobbill team about her bad experience with direct debit. “I find it frustrating when it comes to direct debit and there’s a public holiday…The trouble I had was with Vodafone, who direct debited from my account on the 5th of every month. A while back it was taken early due to a public holiday and I didn’t transfer in time.

Sometimes they [billers] decide to deduct early while others wait for the closest business working day. I really wish they would confirm so I can be sure my end is all okay. All I would need to do is transfer between my accounts. Instead I’ve been caught with fees for bounced payments.…So I received a dishonour fee from my bank of $40! I complained to my bank and it was revoked, which was great.”

Do you have a horror story about direct debit? Share it with us here: gobbill@gobbill.com.au

EnergyAustralia dragged into major phishing scam

June 21st, 2017 Posted by Alerts, Internet Safety, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “EnergyAustralia dragged into major phishing scam”

EnergyAustralia is being impersonated by cyber criminals in a malware campaign reports  IDG ARN. EnergyAustralia has become the second local energy provider caught up in a major email phishing scam after a “large volume” of malicious emails recently began hitting Australian inboxes, according to email security company, MailGuard.

The Melbourne-based company said the realistic-looking email masquerades as an invoice from the energy company, advising customers that the invoice is due in the coming days. Read more at ARN. EnergyAustralia has also issued their own warnings of the fake bills and provided advice to check on the source/sender of the email. Read more at EnergyAustralia.

 

High Alert for ransomware issued by Australian Government cyber security agency.

May 14th, 2017 Posted by Alerts, Internet Safety, Staysmartonline 0 thoughts on “High Alert for ransomware issued by Australian Government cyber security agency.”

Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) has today issued a high priority alert to beware of the same ransomware disrupting organisations globally, including the UK’s National Health Service.

What can you do? Keep safe by applying software updates and backing up your data regularly. Use Gobbill to check and pay your email bills. You don’t need to know if it’s a fake bill and you don’t need to click on any links. Simply forward the email to your own @gobbill.com email address and it’s taken care for you. Read more gobbill.com.au

Last week, hackers used tools believed to have been developed by the US National Security Agency which has infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries, disrupting Britain’s health system and global shipper FedEx. Australian Cyber Security Centre is tracking the attack campaign which goes by various names including WannaCry. It leverages known vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows patched since March 2017 making this disruption and impact preventable.

ACORN reports that they are continuing to monitor the situation closely.

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New Gobbill users can sign up for a FREE account at gobbill.com.au.

Follow us on Facebook/gobbill to receive further alerts.

 
What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious software that makes data or systems unusable until the victim makes a payment. In this case, cyber extortionists tricked victims into opening malicious malware attachments to spam emails that appeared to contain invoices, job offers, security warnings and other legitimate files reports The Sydney Morning Herald. 

About ACORN.

ACORN provides information on how to recognise and avoid common forms of cybercrime, such as hacking, online scams, online fraud, identity theft, attacks on computer systems and illegal or prohibited content, as well as offering advice to those who have fallen victim.