Cyber safety call follows $50K trust account fraud

Businesses are being urged to be vigilant about cyber fraud in the wake of an incident in which criminals reaped $50,000 in payments from the trust account of a real estate agency, in Broome, WA.
The fraudsters gained access to the agency’s computer system after a compromised email allowed malicious software (malware) to be installed.
They then swapped customer account details with their own information, in order to divert the payments, later changing the information back again in an effort to avoid being caught.
WA Commissioner for Consumer Protection, Anne Driscoll, urged real estate agencies to introduce strict computer security protocols.
“We advise real estate and settlement agents to manually input client bank account details when making electronic payments, rather than relying on details in pre-entered lists,” she said.
RentCover General Manager Sharon Fox-Slater, said that businesses should consider cyber insurance – although, in this case, the bank reimbursed the agency but there are also usually substantial investigation, identification and rectification costs involved that should also be considered.