Warning to businesses over cyber scams

Paul Osborne
·1-min read

Businesses have been warned of a rise in email scams aimed at hoodwinking them out of large sums of money.

The criminal activity - known as "business email compromise" scams - involves a range of email, instant message, SMS and social media tactics to fraudulently access money or goods.

Head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre, Abigail Bradshaw, said there has been a significant increase in the use of BEC scams by cyber criminals.

"In 2019-20 financial year there were 4255 reports of BEC scams reported through the ACSC's ReportCyber tool, representing losses of over $142 million," she said.

Rugby league great Benny Elias was the victim of one such scam earlier this year, after hackers impersonated his lawyer and asked for $860,000 to settle a western Sydney property deal.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre has now issued an advisory note - available on its website cyber.gov.au - to help business owners identify scams, prevent email accounts from being compromised, and prevent damage to business reputation.