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Payment redirection scams cost Australian businesses $128 million in 2020

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Payment redirection scams cost Australian businesses $128 million in 2020

Payment redirection scams cost Australian businesses $128 million in 2020

Payment redirection scams were the most financially damaging scams for Australian businesses in 2020 according to the ACCC’s latest Targeting Scams report. Combined losses reported to Scamwatch, other government agencies, banks and payment platforms totalled $128 million in 2020.
Reports to Scamwatch show that Australian businesses lost $18 million to scams in 2020, a 260 per cent increase on losses reported in 2019.
“Small and micro businesses made most of the reports to Scamwatch and experienced an increase in losses in 2020, although larger businesses reported the highest losses,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.
Based on Scamwatch data alone, false billing scams were the most commonly reported scam by businesses and accounted for three quarters of total losses to businesses. Small and micro businesses accounted for almost 60 per cent of these false billing reports.
There are a range of false billing scams, but the most common type was payment redirection scams, also known as business email compromise (BEC) scams, with 1,300 reports and $14 million in losses. This is a substantial increase from the 900 reports and $5 million in losses reported in 2019.
In a payment redirection scam, scammers impersonate a business or its employees via email and request an upcoming payment be redirected to a fraudulent account.
Scamwatch also observed a new type of scam in 2020 that targeted farmers looking for a good deal on tractors and farm machinery. Scammers advertised equipment at prices well below market value, and told farmers that they couldn’t view the tractors prior to purchase due to government restrictions from the pandemic. Farmers made payments to secure these special deals, when in reality the equipment never existed. Farmers were conned out of $1.1 million in these scams.
“One thing we know about scammers is that they will take advantage of a crisis,” Mr Keogh said.
Businesses were also targeted by health and medical scams in 2020. About half of the $3.9 million in total losses reported to health and medical scams were from businesses, as they attempted to procure personal protective equipment for their staff to comply with government guidelines during the pandemic.
Other scam types that impacted businesses throughout the year included phishing, identity theft and hacking scams.
“It is so important for businesses to stay informed about scams so they can protect themselves,” Mr Keogh said.
“The ACCC provides a range of resources for businesses on how to avoid scams on the Scamwatch website and in our media releases throughout the year.”
Businesses that have been scammed should contact their bank as soon as possible. If the scam occurred on a platform such as Facebook, contact them directly to report it.
Businesses can also report a scam to ReportCyber, which is run by the Australian Cyber Security Centre and passes reports to law enforcement agencies for assessment and intelligence purposes.
The Small Business Information Network also provides details about new or updated resources, enforcement action, changes to Australia’s competition and consumer laws, events, surveys and scams relevant to the small business sector.

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Business News

SUPPORT PACKAGE A GAME CHANGER FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY

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SUPPORT PACKAGE A GAME CHANGER FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY

SUPPORT PACKAGE A GAME CHANGER FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY

A $500 million support package to revive the events and tourism industry across NSW will be a game changer that will turbo charge a post COVID economic recovery, according to the state’s peak business organisation, Business NSW.

Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced the package, which includes each adult being provided a $50 voucher to spend on accommodation anywhere in the State.

Business NSW has been telling Government since the start of the pandemic that different industries were being impacted in different ways, but the tourism, hospitality and events sector has been the hardest hit,” said Business NSW Regional Manager Jane Laverty

“What is particularly pleasing is this is not a Sydney centric package but recognises that all of NSW has a part to play in the economic recovery through regional events and tourism, with support for satellite CBD’s a cornerstone of this funding,” Jane Laverty said.

“Business will be delighted with the Event Saver Fund which allows for immediate financial support for organisers of events that are disrupted or cancelled due to a Public Health Order this summer. This will allow confidence in investment and employment without a fear of being left footing a huge bill.

“The exciting part about this support package is that it will actually encourage more business investment and drive a collaborative partnership between business and Government in securing events and once again making NSW the number one destination in the Asia Pacific region for both business and travel.

“What is crucial is the targeted approach the Government takes from here in deciding where the money is spent – this needs to be on a needs-based approach to ensure maximum return on investment.

“A united approach using insight from stakeholders on the ground will be crucial to ensuring this package delivers for all of NSW.

“Business NSW looks forward to working with the State Government in coming weeks on measures and support that will drive regional recovery,” Mrs Laverty said.

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Business News

NEW HARDSHIP PANEL TO PROVIDE MORE BUSINESSES WITH COVID-19 FINANCIAL SUPPORT

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Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope

NEW HARDSHIP PANEL TO PROVIDE MORE BUSINESSES WITH COVID-19 FINANCIAL SUPPORT

A new Hardship Review Panel has been established to consider financial support for businesses experiencing financial hardship that do not qualify for COVID-19 business support measures.

The panel will assess on a case-by-case basis businesses which did not meet the eligibility requirements for the 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant, Micro-business Grant and JobSaver payments.

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the Review Panel would help those businesses experiencing genuine financial hardship that were previously ineligible for support payments and grants.
“COVID-19 has affected so many businesses in NSW and even though we have a number of support measures in place, there are still some businesses under severe financial strain that aren’t eligible for assistance for a number of reasons. We want to plug that gap as much as we can,” Mr Tudehope said.

The Review Panel will include representatives from Revenue NSW, NSW Treasury and Service NSW and will make recommendations on businesses’ eligibility for relevant support payments and grants.
It will consider a broad range of factors in determining whether a business has experienced financial hardship, with the Chief Commissioner of Revenue NSW to be ultimately responsible and make the final determination for applications.

“My message to small businesses is this – no matter what corner of the state you’re in, we will be there with you all the way as we navigate this global health pandemic,” Mr Tudehope said.

Factors that the hardship panel will consider include, for example, whether the business is an employer, in a highly impacted industry, in an LGA of concern or has unavoidable costs for which no other support is available.

Businesses will be back paid to the fortnight where they can demonstrate the required decline in turnover with the Panel. Hardship applications for JobSaver are now open with hardship COVID business grants and Micro-business grants to open later this month. See more here: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/covid-19-help-businesses/covid-19-business-support-hardship-review.

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Business News

ROADMAP GIVES CERTAINTY TO BUSINESS

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REOPENING NSW page 1

ROADMAP GIVES CERTAINTY TO BUSINESS

The state’s peak business organisation, Business NSW says confirmation of the three phases of reopening for NSW is a positive step that will provide much needed certainty to business.
The Government has announced rules which will determine what can and can’t happen as the population reaches 70 and 80% double vaccination rates, as well as when liberties apply to all residents, irrespective of vaccination status.
“It’s been an uncertain time for many businesses with lots of confusion about which businesses will be able to open and under what rules,” said Business NSW Regional Manager Jane Laverty.
“The release of the Public Health Orders in coming days will reconfirm that the onus will be on individuals to do the right thing and abide by the rules,” Mrs Laverty said.
“Business owners can’t be expected to also act as security guards, so long as they have a COVIDSafe plan and appropriate registration in place at their entry, they can get on with the business of being in business.
“The Premier has confirmed that 11 October is the day we will likely reopen at 70% double vaccination rate, which we are calling #backtobusiness day, because it will be a real celebration of being able to visit our favourite businesses again and to celebrate what we’ve missed over the past few months.
“A number of greater freedoms will come into place at the 80% double vaccination rate, which on current trends could be as soon as 25 October.
“Businesses will be able to operate under a one person per four square metre rule, with certain caps in place on numbers, depending on the type of industry and whether customers are gathering inside our outdoors.
“It won’t be until 1 December that vaccination status is not a factor – meaning businesses will be able to operate under a one person per 2 square metre rule, as opposed to one person per 4 square metres up until then.
“This is an important step for the business recovery in NSW, as the state looks to bounce back as quickly as possible from the ravages of the pandemic,” Mrs Laverty said.

To see the REOPENING NSW click here to open the PDF

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