Email scammers target businesses; gardaí issue warning and tips

Gardaí have issued a warning about an email scam on businesses.

Fraudsters are attempting to obtain equipment from suppliers by sending them fake purchase orders.

Once the quotation has been provided, a purchase order is emailed to the supplier, which is similar to an authentic purchase order of the relevant company.

The purchase order typically instructs delivery to an address not linked with the company. After shipping the item/s of equipment, the supplier never receives payment and is unable to retrieve the shipped products.

The scam usually involves medical or IT goods in large quantities and of high value.

Gardaí are advising firms to look out for orders that request rush deliveries, or addresses that are different to the buyers' location.

They have provided the following information on how to recognise the scam:

  • Incorrect domain names are used to send emails and purchase orders. The majority of Irish email addresses will always end in @companyname.ie. An example of an incorrect domain being used in these fraudulent emails is to use a genuine company name but to alter it to look similar. For example www.garda-;
  • The delivery address is not the purchasing company's address. Fraudulent addresses will typically be a domestic residence or a self-storage facility, often based in Dublin, or other locations nowhere near company ordering the goods;
  • Poorly written email with grammatical errors are always a sign of a suspicious email;
  • Unusually large quantities are requested;
  • Request for a rush to ship priority/overnight;
  • Use of a false or unknown university contact.

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