News and Analysis

The following are articles relevant to the Professional Investigator.   Click on the title to make a comment or join the conversation.



Serial conman Eddie Kang up to old tricks ripping off vulnerable students – 21 September 2018

ABC investigation uncovers evidence of a convicted fraudster who is continuing to take tens of thousands of dollars off foreign students. He promises them visas and jobs, but they never eventuate and one woman found herself deported without a visa. Eddie Kang was sentenced to 12 months in prison in March 2017 after he was convicted of 22 counts of fraud and misleading conduct involving 11 foreign students who paid his companies to secure 457 visas.

Graydon launches UK’s first solution to unlock fraud DNA – 20 September 2018

Graydon, a leading provider of business data, insights and analytics in Europe, has announced a strategic technology partnership with global financial crime experts, TruNarrative. The partnership will provide a corporate anti-fraud solution to the business community. Graydon Detect is the first solution of its kind in the UK.

CommBank, ANZ hit with scam apps – 20 September 2018

MORE than a thousand CommBank and ANZ customers may have unknowingly handed out their log-in details and credit card numbers after downloading malicious banking apps. A Google spokesman declined to say how many times the apps were downloaded or how they made it into the Google Play store. As the banks were impersonated, not hacked, the scam falls outside Australia’s new mandatory data-breach notification scheme passed into law earlier this year.

Westpac mortgage tracker shows loan ‘fraud’ – 20 September 2018

AN ELDERLY West Australian couple who were “doorknocked” by a salesman spruiking a real estate investment thousands of kilometres away were victims of a “fraud” committed by Westpac, consumer advocates claim. Bank staff inflated the couples monthly income so they could get a loan approved.

Synthetic identity fraud: Exposing the modern-day Frankenstein monster – 18 September 2018

Fraudsters have found a new, innovative way to steal money. As data breaches proliferate, countless stolen identity credentials and other critical information are ending up in the hands of these fraudsters, who are then able to pose as legitimate users behind the cloak of the Internet. Today, synthetic identities – based on a combination of real and false personal data – are being used to defraud organisation’s like banks, lenders, insurers, telecommunications services providers, and even governments.

Cancer faker Kelly Val Smith’s ‘despicable’ deception made impact on family and friends – 17 September 2018

Victims of an Adelaide woman who falsely claimed she had ovarian cancer to dupe hundreds of thousands of dollars out of friends and family have told of the devastating impacts it had on their finances and relationships. Kelly Val Smith was found guilty of four counts of deception and one count of dishonestly dealing with documents between 2007 and 2015.

Banks face years of litigation, billions in costs after Hayne – 16 September 2018

The major banks face years of rolling litigation and potentially billions of dollars in additional compensation out of the Hayne royal commission, as plaintiff law firms prepare a series of test cases over mortgage lending practices and regulators target other areas of bad behaviour.

(nb need to be AFR member to see full article)

Multiple arrests over $3m immigration detention email compromise scam – 14 September 2018

A 43-year-old Nigerian man has been arrested by NSW Police for orchestrating a $3 million business email compromise scam under the noses of authorities from within Villawood immigration detention centre. The arrests and raids coupled with the large amount of cash is a significant embarrassment for the Department of Home Affairs which controls the facility.

The Facilitator: how a dirty accountant washed millions for crime ring – 10 September 2018

Article tells how proceeds of drug crime and ATO fraud was investigated by policy using money trails and phone intercepts. Drugs in kite surfing bag were also seized at the airport and $5m hidden in a home. Several accountants and lawyers involved in the criminal activity could face prison time.

ASIC: We’ll be watching ICOs and cryptocurrency carefully – 8 September 2018

In its 2018 to 2022 corporate plan, ASIC has reaffirmed its intentions to keep a close watch on the cryptocurrency space, especially ICOs and other token offerings to minimise consumer harm. With plans for a closer look at regtech in the coming years, and a greater focus on technology and digitisation of systems. It will also be monitoring the outcomes achieved by the ASX’s blockchain replacement of the old CHESS system.

Business email compromise fraud is growing faster than your profits are – 6 September 2018

The frequency of business email compromise (BEC) attacks is exploding as large financial returns continue to motivate cybercriminals to find new ways of exploiting human weaknesses. BEC volumes were up 80 percent quarter-on-quarter, according to the latest Mimecast Email Security Risk Assessment(ESRA), which analysed more than 142 million emails that had been cleared by potential customers’ incumbent email systems.

Australian Tax Office warns of new telephone scam that targets taxpayers – 5 September 2018

New scamming methods targeting taxpayers has the fraudsters initiating a three-way telephone conversation between the scammer, the victim, and another scammer impersonating the victim’s tax agent. During July and August the ATO received over 7000 scam reports, with close to $190,000 being paid to scammers and over 1600 people handed over their personal or financial information.

A new and more efficient payments system will be a magnet for fraud. Here’s how to prepare – 5 September 2018

The launch of a New Payments Platform, owned by both the banks and Reserve Bank, will make payments instant.

It isn’t yet fully adopted, but when it is it’ll allow any financial institution to transfer money from any of its accounts to any other account near instantaneously. Those transfers will be impossible to reverse. It will make them magnets for fraud.

Canberra mum-of-two accused of fraud ‘spent $30k using fake accounts’ – 4 September 2018

A Canberra woman accused of setting up fake bank, health insurance and phone accounts and using them to rack up tens-of-thousands of dollars in expenses is now facing 16 additional counts of fraud. She used the names of strangers and her ex-partner to create phone numbers, bank accounts, private health insurance accounts and file a tax return.

How your business can jump on new “PayPal for cryptocurrency” solution – 30 August 2018

Paid By Coins is set to dramatically shake up the crypto sector by finally giving Aussie’s some options when it comes to using Bitcoin, Ethereum and the multitude of other coins out there. It’s the paypal for cryptocurrency. This system is going to be big news for many Australian retailers.–paypal-for-cryptocurrency–solution.html

A Camry to town with ‘fraudsters’: What scam victim Tim did next – 30 August 2018

A group of alleged fraudsters made a frantic across-town attempt to get $300,000 out of the country as the tax office closed in on their $100 million-plus crime ring, a court has heard. Scores of dummy directors, people who are named as a sole director but have nothing to do with a business, have been unearthed as part of the investigation of Philip Whiteman.

Globetrotting three-carat diamond at the centre of largest bank fraud in Indian history – 30 August 2018

A three-carat gem was shipped at least four times between shadowy companies allegedly controlled by Indian billionaire Nirav Modi. The practice of round-tripping – trading goods repeatedly to give the appearance of distinct transactions – was central to the largest bank fraud in India.

Exclusive: Over half of ASX companies at risk of email fraud – 30 August 2018

Email fraud has devastating consequences for businesses: a recent Proofpoint survey revealed that more than 1 in 3 email fraud attacks on Australian businesses (35%) led to loss of funds to cybercriminals. DMARC (or Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance) is the passport control of the email security world and confirms sender identities to stop fraud. Australian businesses need to look at DMARC and to a multi-layered approach to solve the full email fraud challenge.

Banking royal commission: AON Hewitt clients unaware of superannuation scam – 28 August 2018

831 clients of management consultant AON Hewitt Australian financial advice arm, were shovelled into high-fee super funds without their consent. Counsel assisting the royal commission said it represented four breaches of the Corporations Act, which amounted to more than 3000 breaches in total.