South Australian man arrested over $2M scam

Detectives from the Major Fraud Investigation Section have charged a man for deception offences after he allegedly scammed interstate businesses of over $2M, according to SA Police.

Following lengthy investigation detectives arrested the 59-year-old northern suburbs man on 18 October after receiving reports via the on-line scam reporting website ACORN. The offences are alleged to have occurred between March 2016 and April 2017 to several interstate businesses who were defrauded of $2,190,215.70. ($2,084,515,60 was recovered).

The alleged ‘phishing style’ scam obtained details of businesses and customers through the use of malware before the scammer advised of a change of banking details for invoices to be paid. The victim paid an outstanding invoice, believing they were making a payment to the proper supplier, not to the scammers.

The man was charged with six counts of deception and one count of attempt deception. He attended the Elizabeth Magistrates Court on 19 October and was remanded to appear on 9 January 2018.


Detective Superintendent Robert Papworth, Officer in Charge of the E-crime Branch says; “Police continue to receive reports in relation to this type of scam and urge the public and businesses to carefully check all requests for payment of monies. Any change of account or payment details should be independently verify with the business.”

How to avoid being scammed:

* Treat phone calls, emails or letters from a supplier seeking a change to the bank account details you use to pay them, with caution.
* Use the correct, independently verified number from the supplier’s website, or the one you have on file, to call a known contact directly to confirm if the request is legitimate.
* If emailing, type the known email address in the ‘to’ section rather than replying to an email received – scammers often use a very similar email address but with a different suffix or domain name.
* Know that a BSB search, which can easily be done online, will reveal details about a bank account you have been asked to send to.
* Remember words you enter in the free text when conducting bank transfers have no bearing on the transaction – ie writing the name of the account holder does not mean it is that company’s bank account, it can belong to scammers posing as a company.
* Be aware that scammers have also been known to hack Chief Executive officers’ and managers’ email accounts, then send email authorisation to junior officers for the transfer of money into an account controlled by the offenders.

For further information visit or to report a cybercrime and online incidents which may be in breach of Australian Law this can be done through the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) Certain reports will then be directed to Australian Law enforcement and government agencies for further investigation.

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