SINGAPORE – A tech equipment reseller company nearly lost more than $100,000 worth of laptops to a scam.
The dealer is now trying to find legitimate buyers for the equipment.
The company thought it was receiving an order from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) when it received an email from Mr. Daniel Chong on July 18.
Mr Chong, who claimed to be from NTU’s purchasing division, ordered 50 Dell laptops, asking the company to first deliver them to Penanshin Air Express, a freight forwarder.
Mr NP (pseudonym), 53, co-founder of the tech reseller, told the Straits Times: ‘When we got the email, we didn’t think there was anything wrong .
“Previously, when NTU put out tenders for laptops, we always participated, so we thought we were already on their list of potential vendors and the email was legitimate.”
It was not until Mr. Bernard Chan, 44, manager of Penanshin Air Express, informed him that the purchase order was fake that MNP realized he had been the victim of a compromise scam. by commercial electronic mail (BEC).
The BEC involves sending emails purporting to be from the victims’ colleagues, business partners or suppliers.
Unbeknownst to the victims, these emails are sent by scammers, who have hacked into the email accounts of these business contacts or are sending them from spoofed email addresses.
Between January and June, 209 cases of BEC scams were reported, with $67.7 million lost, police said.
That’s more than triple the $22.3 million lost to these scams from January to June last year, when 164 cases were reported.
Using a different alias when contacting Mr Chan, the scammer had posed as an employee of GP Industries, a Singapore-based battery manufacturer.
But when the scammer informed Mr Chan that he would arrange for a courier to collect and ship the laptops to Britain, the manager of Penanshin Air Express realized it was a scam.