Pre-funded port costs diverted to fake bank accounts
ITIC has issued a warning to shipping and transport intermediaries about a scam currently being perpetrated whereby pre-funded port costs are being diverted to a fake bank account.
In each case the party due to make the payment has received an email advising that the agent’s bank account is inoperable because of their annual audit. The message is sent using an email address very similar to the agent’s address. Details of a different bank account are given for the payment. By the time the agent reports that the pro-forma disbursement account has not been paid, the fraudsters have already stolen the money.
ITIC emphasises that anybody who receive messages alleging that the payee’s bank account has changed should be wary of the possibility of a scam and take separate steps to verify the instructions.