Sneaky Accounts Admin Invoice Scam

Posted by Daniel McShanag on 05 March 2020 13:40:01 AEDT

Be on the look-out for this sneaky email scam, pretending to be from an ‘Accounts Administrator’ named ‘Olivia Wilson.’ The simple email is text only with no links or attachments, so it will easily by-pass most email security services. The sender is relying on recipients responding to enquire about the missing invoice, at which time they will harvest the credentials of unsuspecting victims.  


The email originates from multiple compromised email addresses that cybercriminals have used to launch the attack. Subtle attacks like these are becoming increasingly prevalent, as cybercriminals seek to avoid traditional email filters, and to prey on the curiosity and good will of email users.  

Some of the subtle hints that this email is not legitimate, are the generic greeting “Dear Customer” and that the “reply-to” email address is different to the “from” address.

A simple, common sense way to spot a scam is to ask yourself if you know the sender, or if you should reasonably expect to receive an email from them. If not, or if you’re in doubt, don’t open it and don’t reply. In most cases, that advice will be sufficient, but if you work in the accounts payable department at a medium to large sized company, knowing the details for every vendor may not be so simple. Always exercise caution when opening email.  

As a precaution, MailGuard urges you not to click links within emails that:

  • Are not addressed to you by name.
  • Appear to be from a legitimate company but use poor English, or omit personal details that a legitimate sender would include.
  • Are from businesses that you were not expecting to hear from.
  • Take you to a landing page or website that is not the legitimate URL of the company the email is purporting to be sent from. 

Don't get scammed

If your company’s email accounts aren’t protected, emails like the one above are almost certainly being received by your staff. Cybercriminals know people can be tricked; that’s why they send out millions of scam messages and put so much effort into making them look convincing.

People are not machines; we're all capable of making bad judgement calls. Without email filtering protecting your business, it’s just a matter of time before someone in your organisation has a momentary lapse of judgement and clicks on the wrong thing.

One email is all that it takes

All that it takes to break into your business is a cleverly-worded email message. If scammers can trick one person in your company into clicking on a malicious link they can gain access to your data.

For a few dollars per staff member per month, you can protect your business with MailGuard's predictive and advanced email security.

Talk to a solution consultant at MailGuard today about securing your company's network.

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Topics: email scams fraud fastbreak

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