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Cyber-attacks Targeting WA Property Industry

January 22, 2019

Cyber-attacks Targeting WA Property Industry

It has come to the attention of the Housing Industry Association that members in Western Australia have been adversely affected by cyber-attacks in the form of a payment redirection scam in recent months. This has involved scammers purporting to work for a builder and emailing the builder's clients directing them to make progress or final payments, and advising the client that their banking details have changed seeking that all future payments are made to the new bank account.

Clients are attending to payment of these fake invoices leaving the builder’s business with a legitimate invoice that remains outstanding and unpaid.

The Department of Mines. Industry Regulation and Safety has also issued an urgent alert in relation to cyber-attacks targeting the WA property industry.

The Consumer Protection division of the Department of Commerce are attempting to combat the prevalence of scams and fraud by administering WA ScamNet. WA ScamNet profiles the most prevalent scams targeting Western Australians and provides information on different types of scams, how to recognise scams and what to do if you have received a scam.

Clients should be warned and notified to be vigilant if receiving a phone call, email or letter from any supplier or business seeking payment and a change to the bank account details.
In the event they do receive a request for payment, please recommend that they contact the supplier or business directly based on the contact information they have on file (prior to receiving the suspicious piece of correspondence) to verify if the request is legitimate.

Fraud attempts should be reported to WA ScamNet by email wascamnet@dmirs.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54 and to the WA Police Major Fraud Squad on 131 444 as soon as possible.

For any questions about the false billing or payment redirection scam, please contact HIA Workplace Services (WA) on 9492 9200 or on WA_IR&Legal@hia.com.au