Bank of Spain warns of a new corporate email scam

Criminals are impersonating suppliers' identities after invoice information is exchanged via email, the bank has warned

The Bank of Spain has issued a warning about a new corporate email fraud. Known as 'business email compromise, this is a type of crime that affects companies that make invoice payments via wire transfers.

Criminals impersonate the identity of a supplier who is to issue an invoice after the targeted company exchanges information via email.

They then modify these invoices by changing the IBAN of the account to which the money transfer should be made.

The bank says that offenders obtain information about the company, its invoices and the supplier's email address, after hacking into the victim's email address.

"If you have suffered a scam of this type and have made a transfer to a fake account, it is important that you contact your bank as soon as possible," the regulator urges customers.

Transfers are "irrevocable" payment mandates and banks are not entitled to order a refund without the consent of the account holder who has benefited. However, in accordance with good financial practice and usage, the institution is required to make "reasonable efforts" to try to recover the amount transferred, by contacting the receiving bank.