Police lay charges after appeal over property settlement BEC scam – Cybercrime Squad

A man will face court today charged over his alleged involvement in an email scam valued at almost $800,000.

In November 2020, detectives from State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad were notified after funds had been electronically transferred into a fraudulent account during the settlement period of a property sale.

Further inquiries under Strike Force Urban revealed the recipient’s account details had been sourced from a compromised email address containing altered banking details.

Following extensive investigations and a public appeal for information, officers arrested a 30-year-old man in Surry Hills about 1.30pm yesterday (Thursday 23 September 2021).

He was taken to Surry Hills Police Station and charged with five counts of recklessly deal with proceeds of crime more than $5,000.

Police will allege in court the man fraudulently obtained $783,912 from the scam and spent more than $500,000 of the proceeds on gold bullion, cryptocurrency, and other items.

The Ryde man was refused bail to appear at Central Local Court today (Friday 24 September 2021).

Investigations continue.

Tips to avoid Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams:

  • Have robust internal controls such as payment protocols that require two-person verification
  • Educate staff on the prevalence and nature of BEC offending
  • Be curious and challenge or verify changes to payments schedules by alternate means
  • Have strong IT systems which detect malware or unauthorised access

Anyone with information that may assist investigators is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

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