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Southern District Police are warning businesses to be wary when receiving emails requesting a change of employees' or suppliers banking details.
According to a police spokesperson such a request could in fact be the work of scammers "who are usually operating from an overseas IP address, create a false email address in the name of an employee, and then email that employee’s employer/payroll department requesting a change of bank account".
To make it more realistic, this is very often another New Zealand bank account and part of another scam."
Southern District Police said they had also seen a number of instances where the scammers had intercepted customer invoices sent by businesses via email.
"The scammers create a false business email account - very similar to the genuine one - then advise the customer that bank account details for payment have changed, thereby pocketing the customer’s payment."
Police say that any requests for a change in banking details should be verified directly with the employee or the supplier and that such emails should not be accepted at face value.
"If a customer has made payment to a fraudulent bank account, advise them to contact their bank immediately and report it, making sure the matter is escalated to the bank’s fraud team."