Email Scams Cost Businesses Millions


Australian businesses lost over $60 million in 2018 because of cybercrime, according to reports to the ACCC and Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network.

The most prevalent and damaging scams are being run by cybercriminals impersonating businesses and directing customers to pay into a rogue bank account. The scam involves hacking into email accounts and sending false invoices to customers or change of bank account information, all the while directing funds be paid into the scammer’s bank account instead of the business. Both small and large businesses have been targeted, and so have local sporting clubs and community groups. The consequences can be devastating.

The figures are frightening, but there are some simple ways to protect your business and reduce the likelihood that cybercrime will impact your bottom line.

Ensure staff are informed.

Ensure all staff are made aware of potential scams that may target your business. Communicate with staff about current scams and ensure they know who to contact if they receive suspicious emails or are unsure as to whether any correspondence they have received is legitimate.

Have strict protocols in place

It is important to ensure all staff are trained to cross check all emails or phone calls directing payments to

specific accounts. Ensure that you have processes in place that outline how money transfers and requests will be handled to avoid your profits ending up in the hands of scammers.

Send a message to your customers

Ensure customers are aware that all change of bank detail requests should be confirmed via a phone call to your business. Having a disclaimer on your invoices or even email footers for customer facing employees instructing customers to call and confirm any correspondence regarding bank details is a great start.