12th January 2021
The phone remains a useful weapon against fraud, advises ITIC
Cyber-crime connected with fraudulent demands for payments continue to plague the maritime sector as a large claim handled by the International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) demonstrates.
A ship manager received an email from a shipyard detailing the first payment that was due for agreed repairs. The ship manager scheduled the payment but on the day before the monies were to be released, the ship manager received a further mail. This message explained that due to a certain difficulty, the routing details for the first payment had been changed. However, this second email was fake and was not noticed by the ship manager (in effect, the fraudster has simply changed part of the email address from “irn” to “im”).
The ship manager soon received a replacement invoice and new routing instructions - on an identical template to the original - from the fraudster and made the payment. Shortly afterwards, they received payment confirmation.
A few days later, the yard sent a further invoice which was intercepted by the fraudsters and replaced with a fake invoice and fake payment details.
In total, the ship manager paid US$500,000 to the fraudsters and, as the yard had received nothing, they claimed this amount from the ship manager. With ITIC’s involvement, the claim was reduced to US$ 360,000 to reflect that the yard was partly at fault for not operating secure internal systems. ITIC settled the claim.
ITIC reinforces its advice that all companies should be very aware of vendors or partners who change their bank details and should always telephone to confirm. And when doing so, they must use a phone number they trust, and not simply the one stated on the (potentially fraudulent) invoice.
International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) is the world’s leading provider of professional indemnity insurance to transport professionals across the globe.
As a mutual insurer, it has over 90 years’ experience providing cover to companies in the marine, naval architecture, aviation, rail, offshore and hydrographic industries. With 3,100 members in over 110 countries and with a worldwide network of correspondents, ITIC is the acknowledged leader in its field.
ITIC’s insurance has been developed primarily to cover claims of negligence – errors or omissions. Cover can also extend to specialist areas such as debt collection, loss of commission income, cyber liability, cash in transit and directors’ and officers’ insurance. ITIC’s wide cover also includes a unique discretionary insurance which could support claims not normally be paid by other professional indemnity insurers.
ITIC is managed by Thomas Miller. More details about ITIC and the services it offers can be found at www.itic-insure.com