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School doesn’t pay price after email of principal cloned

A SCHOOL in the county was targeted by fraudsters who managed to compromise the principal’s email, however no funds were stolen, gardaí have confirmed.
According to Clare Gardaí the financial officer of the school was contacted by a scammer pretending to be the school principal authorising payment to a company.
In light of this, Clare Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Triona Brooks has issued advice to businesses, urging “robust policies and procedures” be put in place when it comes to dealing with banking details.
She outlined, “The financial officer in a school in the county received an e-mail which looked like it was from the principal of the school authorising payment to a company who had not done any work in the school.
“The principal’s email had been compromised but thankfully it was discovered before any payment was made.”
Sergeant Brooks advises, “Ensure staff take great care and attention each time they are asked to change bank account details.
“Check the IBAN number – what country is it in. IBANs can be checked by doing a very quick google search. Check the URL and the spelling.”
She continued, “A phone call should be made to a representative of the company confirming that the bank account is changed and care needs to be taken to ensure that they are talking to a representative of the company and not the fraudster.
“Under no circumstances should contact details contained in the email or attachments be relied upon to verify the request whether these consist of a physical address, an email address or a phone number.
“Verify the email address is spelt correctly. Has the URL been changed from .ie to .com?”
She concluded, “Businesses must ensure that they have robust policies and procedures in place to deal with requests of this nature including escalating the decision-making function to supervisory positions and making direct contact with a trusted known person in the supplier’s organisation.
“Where a business becomes aware that such a crime has occurred they should ask their bank immediately to do a recall on the money and then report the matter to Gardaí.”

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