Wire Transfer Fraud: Check Twice, Send Once
Excerpt from Nick Zeher’s article, published this week at Onboard Online:
The peaceful pastime of carefree yachting has now become a target for hackers and fraudulent behaviour. As the age-old construction adage goes – measure twice, cut once. Well, there is no reason that concept should not be applied when sending money electronically. Yachts are getting bigger and bigger, and the need for additional security measures is growing too.
Recently, a buyer of a yacht entered into an agreement with the seller in which the seller chose to act as a bank and accept monthly payments directly from the buyer for the purchase of the yacht. In this case, the buyer would wire money directly to the seller each month until the loan was paid off. Before the loan matured, the buyer and seller made an agreement for the buyer to pay off the remaining debt in one payment.
Instead of having the buyer pay him directly, the seller brought in a law firm to accept payment on his behalf. When the buyer checked his email, he saw one from the law firm that had wire instructions attached. The buyer initiated his wire and paid off his debt – or so he thought.