The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has revealed small to medium sized businesses supplying IT and electrical products have closed down after losing up to $100,000 to scammers.
This is the result of an email scam that is being send out requesting quotes and goods. The perpetrators spoof domains, emails and signature blocks of legitimate Executives of universities or large Australian enterprises.
According to the ACSC, businesses lost amounts between $30,000 and $100,000, with one business alone reporting a total $170,000 loss.
"To date, the cyber criminals have yielded more than $700,000 through what has been termed freight forwarding scams," the ACSC said.
Some of the requests received by the SMBs were for quote and delivery of hard drives and laptops or technical goods.
The scammers then delay payments "through excuses" or requesting payment on the invoice on 30 or 14 days credit.
The scam then continues with SMBs being directed to send the goods to an Australian freight forwarding company and handed to another scammer who manages the delivery phase.
Later scammers attempt to scam the freight company, by providing payment through stolen credit cards or on credit. They request shipment to a number of different locations overseas, such as Dagenham, UK, Deira, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Singapore.
Once dispatched, there is little chance of recovery, the ACSC said.