Monday, April 30, 2012

Freight Association Warns of IATA e mail Scam

The Blight of Electronic Age Targets Logistics Industry
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – An alert this week from the British International Freight Association (BIFA) warns of fake emails targeting the trade association’s members, which make false requests for payments. This particular batch of bogus communications appear to come from fraudsters posing as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and are being sent to freight forwarding companies worldwide. One example of a fraudulent email is headed:

‘IATA OUTSTANDING INVOICE’ and the text states: ‘There are some outstanding debt your company needs to pay International Air Transport Association (IATA), Kindly check your record/file and get back to us for payment procedure. Failure to read from your company for action may lead to sanctions taken.’

Peter Quantrill, BIFA Director General comments:

“Members have reported email demands for payments from IATA and indeed we have received a number of these at the Secretariat. Most of the messages bear the usual tell tale signs of a scam such as an address for IATA @gmail or @yahoo, however, some of the more deceptive scammers have managed to replicate @iata.org into the email suffix.

“Our advice to members is don’t be taken in. The only payments made to IATA will be via a CASS account and unsubstantiated emails should be deleted immediately.”

Many readers will have noted the increased sophistication being used by the international phishing scam artists, the Handy Shipping Guide last year experienced its own name being used in a fraud targeting the Indonesian market and even the most web savvy operator can fall victim by opening a carefully crafted e mail and linking to a viral website.

The watchword then is caution, there’s someone out there looking to target you or your company, and they may not arrive pretending to be that bent West African bank official who has ten million dollars in the account of someone who had the same name as you.