Donegal businesses warned about new cyber scam

- Companies here targeted in scam like the one which took more than €4 million from Meath County Council

Sue Doherty

Reporter:

Sue Doherty

Email:

sue.doherty@donegaldemocrat.com

Donegal businesses warned about new cyber scam

Two Donegal businesses were targeted in a new type of cyber attack similar to the one which robbed more than €4 million from Meath County Council this week, gardaí have confirmed.
Donegal's crime prevention officer Sgt. Paul Wallace told the Democrat that two businesses, one in the south of the county and one in the north, were targeted in a similar scam earlier this year.
"In this type of 'CEO' scam, the thieves send what looks like a genuine email from the CEO or managing director to staff in the bank requesting a substantial cash transfer," Sgt Wallace explained.
"Two companies in Donegal were targeted in this way, one in the south of the county, where the thieves managed to obtain several thousand euros, and the other in the north of the county, where the member of staff who received the email was suspicious and took the precaution of contacted the head of the company who had supposedly sent the email."
He advised companies to make sure they have solid security protocols and that all staff are familiar with them.
"These are the 'next generation ' of thieves. They're not physically breaking into homes or businesses. They're obtaining the relevant information, contact details of company officials, logos, etc, so it's a sophistication. No company is immune.
"The best chance of thwarting them is that to be suspicious if a senior executive emails asking for a large cash transfer. Pick up the phone or go to their office and ask if it's genuine. That's how the company the north of the county prevented the scammers obtaining money."
Sgt Wallace also reminded the public that scammers are still sending emails to individuals, pretending to be from the Revenue, banks, phone, electricity or gas companies and saying the person is due a refund. "None of these organisations will ever contact customers by email with that kind of information," he said. "They will always send a letter out."