Over a million dollars lost in Victoria business e-mail scams

Financial crime investigators in Victoria are warning the business community after receiving multiple reports of an online scam that led to losses of more than a million dollars.

Authorities are calling it "man-in-the-middle" style attacks where fraudsters are targeting lawyers, accountants and purchasing managers to undermine otherwise legitimate transactions.

The fraudsters are doing it by inserting themselves subtly into e-mail conversations involving the potential victim and over time, intercepting all communications and then misleading victims into moving money into other bank accounts.

“It is common business practices to rely solely on email communication when dealing with instructions pertaining the transfer of money, in doing so, you are at significant risk of financial loss. It is incumbent upon businesses to take steps to protect themselves,” Financial Crimes Det. Sgt. Derek Tolmie said in a press release.

Police say more than a million dollars has been lost in two files alone.

A way of protecting yourself is use another form of communication other than just an email chain. 

They say it is unclear how the fraudsters are inserting themselves into the email chains but crime investigators are working on it.

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