South Australian company loses $1.5 million in phishing scam


Staff member
A South Australian business has lost nearly $1.5 million through an elaborate scam.

Police allege fraudsters have used a 'phishing scam' to learn about one of the company's suppliers then contacted the company pretending to be the supplier, and saying their payment details had changed.

"This is an elaborate scam in which the fraudster has obtained detailed knowledge of work practices and suppliers," Detective Inspector Greg Hutchins said in a statement.

"But other businesses can avoid falling victim in a similar way by ensuring their finance areas have robust validation processes."

It is understood the $1.45 million was paid into an Australian account, which was then transferred off-shore by a money mule.

“These mules – who generally receive payment for allowing their account to be used – can face very serious charges,” Detective Hutchins warned.

“They can be prosecuted for money laundering – which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment."

Two other companies also recently reported similar scams, but in both cases the money was recovered.