Business scams taking a toll

According to research released by the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network, scams targeting businesses have been dramatically increasing, and it is taking its toll on local businesses.

There has been a 53 percent increase in scams targeting businesses since 2017, with over 5,800 reported scams costing more than AUS$7.2 million. Those really feeling the heat are small-to-medium businesses with fewer than 20 members of staff. These businesses account for over 75 percent of scam cases and hail from a variety of industries.

The scams costing businesses the most amount of money are more sophisticated endeavours including impersonation and manipulation. Deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Mick Keogh, released an elaborative statement regarding the sorts of scams these businesses are running.

"Scammers are hacking business email systems and impersonating the intended payment recipient. The scammers request changes to bank account details so that the business makes the payment to the scammer instead of the legitimate business," explained Keogh. "Depending on how long the scammers get away with this and how large the transfers are, this scam can be devastating to a business's bottom line – to the extent of forcing small and medium businesses into closure."