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Police warn against overseas scams targeting NZ businesses

"Police warn against overseas scams targeting NZ businesses"

Please attribute to Detective Sergeant Michael Cartwright, Auckland City Police Financial Crime Unit

Police are warning the public to be wary of scams targeting New Zealand businesses, where scammers are using forged invoices to swindle local companies out of expensive electronic industrial equipment.

Overseas scammers have been using false email addresses and targeting companies using domain names similar to well-known organisations such as Universities and DHBs.

This scam first came to light earlier this year and Police are aware of it recently circulating around businesses again.

Detective Sergeant Michael Cartwright says the scammers will send the forged invoices to businesses requesting various electronic and industrial equipment such as computers, phones, camera equipment and hard drives.

The invoices request the companies to ship the goods to a New Zealand freight company who are then instructed by the scammers to forward the goods on to an overseas address.

The company supplying the items is then left out of pocket when they bill the relevant organisation who have no knowledge of the order, with the goods having already been shipped overseas and unable to be recovered by the time the scam is discovered.

Detective Sergeant Cartwright says companies can avoid falling victim to the scammers by staying vigilant and looking out for suspicious signs.

“Poor English is a common identifying factor in the scam and the emails will often contain false phone numbers and email addresses.”

“We encourage companies to check the legitimacy of any invoice and if they receive an invoice similar to those described, they should immediately contact the relevant organisation to check its legitimacy before sending any goods,” says Detective Sergeant Cartwright.

Police encourage anyone who has been a victim of this scam or has received a suspicious email that matches this description to contact their local Police station.

ENDS

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