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Crime

Rise in email compromise and spoofing

December 14, 2018 5:23 pm
FIU director, Razim Buksh

Commercial banks, financial institutions, businesses and the public are being warned to exercise caution when handling email payment instruction for import trade transactions and large value personal outbound remittance transactions.

This after the Financial Intelligence Unit noticed a continuous rise in cases of individuals and businesses falling victims to email compromise and spoofing scams.

Since 2014, 39 businesses and individuals have lost funds totaling five million dollars in foreign remittance transactions to cyber criminals through email compromise scams.

FIU director, Razim Buksh says only $169, 000 was recovered.

Buksh says in March this year, an email account of a local bank customer was compromised and a fraudulent instruction was sent to the bank.

As a result approximately $575, 000 was transferred to a foreign bank account belonging to a cyber criminal syndicate.

In September, in a case involving cyber money laundering, $556, 000 was fraudulently transferred from a local business bank account to an offshore incorrect account number.

Buksh says in this case the foreign supplier’s business email was compromised.

The FIU recorded two cases in October.

In the first case approximately $27, 000 from sale of investment shares of a local investor residing abroad was remitted to a cyber criminal’s bank account in another country as a result of email compromise.

In another case an estate property settlement proceeds totaling $845, 000 was remitted to the foreign bank account of a cyber criminal who pretended to be the beneficiary of the estate.

Buksh says it appear the email accounts of the beneficiary and the local party were compromised.