Recently, in practice, we have encountered a number of requests of our clients related to the fraud committed by interception and breach of confidentiality of electronic correspondence by unknown and extremely computer literate and tech-savvy criminals. Frauds are usually committed by scammers in a way that they intercept business correspondence and secretly track emails, until the moment when parties agree on the transaction and payment, as a rule abroad. At the appropriate time, scammers steal the identity of the creditor by replacing the email address in a way that is extremely difficult to notice, such as replacing a single letter in the sender’s name or adding a short extension referring to the country or business and it is very difficult to detect during the daily exchange of emails. Thus infiltrated in the correspondence, scammers send false instructions for payment, and the debtor or the real creditor will become aware of this only after a few days or weeks when the money ends up in the accounts of the scammers, i.e. when the damage is done.
Bearing in mind how difficult it is to discover the scammers of this fraud, the parties will, as a rule, find themselves in a dispute regarding whether the payment was made and who should sustain the damage, i.e., which party was actually deceived by the scammers.
In order to prevent such situations, we advise companies how to introduce additional controls and verification of the identity of business partners before acting upon instructions and making payments.
In today’s world and the dangers that have arisen with the complete transition to electronic means of communication, it is not enough to rely on the credibility of e-mail correspondence, and we advise all clients how to take safety measures and increase attention before it’s too late.
The information in this document does not constitute legal advice on any particular matter and is provided for general informational purposes only.