Clarence Valley Independent

Fraudsters target highway subbies

Geoff Helisma |

Fraudsters have hacked the email account of a local subcontractor, who has contracts with various contractors working on the Pacific Highway upgrade, redirecting $55,000 into several bank accounts allegedly set up by a fraudster.

The subcontractor told the Independent that the hackers intercepted emails that had PDF invoices attached and altered the bank account details before forwarding on to the major contractor.

The subcontractor said she reported the issue to NSW Police and Pacific Complete on Monday June 4.
The subcontractor said that the money in the accounts had been ‘frozen’ by each of the banks and that the funds would be returned in due course.

The ruse was exposed when a major contractor contacted the subcontractor after noticing that bank account details had been changed.

Roads and Maritime Services responded to the Independent’s enquiry with the following statement: “Roads and Maritime Services was informed this week, the business email account of a sub-contractor working on the Pacific Highway upgrade was hacked and bank account details had been changed to redirect payments.

“Roads and Maritime immediately informed all Pacific Highway main contractors about the fraudulent activity with advice to notify all sub-contractors and suppliers.
“Any suspicious or un-solicited emails should be treated with caution and if there is any doubt, the originator should be contacted by phone.
“All fraudulent activity should be reported to the NSW Police.

“For any further media inquiries, please contact the Roads and Maritime media unit directly via media@rms.nsw.gov.au or on 9462 6299.”

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