Dublin Zoo lost €500k after falling victim to cyber-scam

Dublin Zoo has confirmed it has fallen victim to a cyber-scam that reportedly resulted in the theft of up to €500,000.

The zoo yesterday told the Irish Examiner that Dublin Zoo is co-operating with the gardaí on a case of invoice redirect fraud.

Neither Dublin Zoo nor the gardaí would reveal the amount involved. However, it has been reported that up to €500,000 was taken before gardaí recovered the majority of the funds.

Invoice redirect fraud takes place when hackers intercept genuine invoice details sent to a company, then send altered account details so that payment is redirected to an account under the fraudster’s control instead of the business the company thinks it is paying.

The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau confirmed it is investigating the case.

“The matter was initially reported by Dublin Zoo to the gardaí at Cabra Garda Station who immediately contacted the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau at Harcourt Square,” gardaí said yesterday.

“Gardaí can confirm that investigations are continuing into this fraud at Dublin Zoo and can also confirm that, with the assistance of financial institutions, a substantial amount of money has been recovered in this case.”

Dublin Zoo assured the public no customer details have been compromised.

“Once the issue was discovered, Dublin Zoo immediately contacted An Garda Síochána and its bank,” said a Dublin Zoo spokesperson.

“As this is currently being investigated by An Garda Síochána, we cannot provide further comment at this time.”

Gardaí took the opportunity to warn businesses to remain vigilant in the face of such scams.

“Gardaí would like to advise all businesses, both large and small, that under no circumstance should you agree to change a bank account number for a supplier based on a phone call, email or other means without verifying such change with someone that is known to you in the supplier’s company,” said gardaí.

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