Our legal department have received a number of reports of scammers sending fraudulent emails and obtaining funds.

    A common scenario is that the client receives an email from the builder’s actual email address, or from an email address which has the same domain name as the builder’s email address. The email will direct the client to pay funds for works using “new” or “updated” bank account details.

    The client then pays into the different bank account, only to be told afterwards that the builder never sent the email and has not changed bank account details.

    The client claims to have paid for works as directed by the builder, and of course is reluctant to pay any more money for that payment claim. This scam is also used on builders in relation to moneys owed to subcontractors and suppliers.

    We urge members to be vigilant regarding protection against computer viruses and other methods of obtaining personal information such as hacking. We advise you to always inform your clients immediately when your bank account details change. This is best confirmed via telephone.  

    We also suggest builders advise their clients that any direction(s) to change bank account details will always be confirmed by the builder via telephone. Any such email direction should not be acted upon prior to the client receiving that call.

    Members are urged to make their clients aware of this serious issue and implement protective measures accordingly.

    If you have any queries in relation to this matter please contact MBA Lawyers on (02) 8586 3517 or legal@mbansw.asn.au  

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