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Police caution public to be wary of new online payment scam

online scam
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Police on Tuesday are investigating a new case of online fraud following a complaint from a businessman in Limassol.

As reported by police, a 60-year-old company manager made a foreign bank transfer on November 15, to pay a partner company. According to the complainant, the payment of the remittance was made to a new bank account of the company in question, following a request received by e-mail.

Nevertheless, on Monday the above company informed the complainant that the invoice had not been paid. The 60-year-old looked into the matter and discovered that the bank account to which the money was sent does not belong to the original company.

The 60-year-old’s complaint alleges invoice fraud, which has become a widespread form of online fraud. In this particular format, fraudsters approach a business or individual and, posing as a supplier or service provider, ask to change information for future payments. In other words, they request that the details of the payee’s bank account be changed and that any new payments be made according to the new details. As a result, the money from the payment of the invoices ends up with the fraudsters.

Police are cautioning the public to be extra diligent when receiving instructions to change payment details for invoices and to check whether these instructions really come from the beneficiary by phone, using a verified number from previous communications. 

Any suspicious activity can be reported to the police’s electronic crime branch, via phone at 22-808200 or through the online form on the police website at www.cypruspolicenews.com or www.cyberalert.cy.

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