Beware! New scam
The Bank of Namibia has issued a warning that a new scam is targetting businesses. It is run predominantly from South Africa.
The fraudsters approach a Namibian company (the debtor) through e-mail, telephone or official business correspondence by an individual claiming to be an employee of a company or organization (the creditor) to whom the Namibian company must make a payment.
The crooks then advise the Namibian company that the creditor’s bank details have been changed and that all future payments should be channeled to the new account of which particulars have been provided in the correspondence. These individuals pretend to be employees of the creditor business/organization and subsequently present false invoices on a letterhead similar to that of the creditor’s invoice with the false bank details.
The scammers make use of names and logos of legitimate businesses or organisations that are creditors. These are used as convincing elements to have funds transferred into their bogus bank accounts. The fraudsters also use email addresses similar to those of the legitimate creditor. For example the email address may look almost identical to the company’s e-mail address but may be a “Gmail” address.
These fraudsters also make use of a typical “Invoice Fraud” where a genuine invoice from a supplier is intercepted and modified through the insertion of false bank details. The unsuspecting Namibian business then settles the invoice and pays the funds into the false bank account appearing on the invoice. The discrepancies are only discovered when the genuine supplier contacts the local business for payment.
The Bank of Namibia said companies should be very alert when contacted to change the bank details of their known suppliers from South Africa. Local companies should not transfer funds where they have been advised of changes in the bank details of the supplier without verifying the change in writing and confirming this with the authorised respresentative of the South African company.