Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers
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ITIC Circular: Fraud Warning - April 2016
Posted on Thursday, May 5, 2016
ITIC issued circulars to members in 2014 and 2015 in relation to
the fraudulent diversion of port expenses, hire/freight payments
and cash to master expenses through interception of email
Unfortunately ITIC continues to see this type of fraud committed
across the marine industry. In cases we have seen this week
fraudsters have used the following wording to justify a payment to
their fraudulent bank account:
Reference to our previous email of today our bank confirmed
that our Account has been subjected to some tight security by the
Income Tax Dept. and at this moment, we are unable to operate our
previous account, due to which, we cannot use the funds that you
will transfer for until the scrutiny is released.
Therefore, this might require a change of account for
receiving our remittance for first hire payment. On your
confirmation that payment has not yet been sent we will forward our
company's subsidiary bank details with the same beneficiary name
and a revised invoice.
ITIC advises members to remain vigilant and treat any
instructions to make a payment to a different bank account as
Another recent version of this type of fraud reverses the
position. Rather than try to divert the payment being made by the
owner the fraudsters attempted to get the agent to send them the
money. The owners had sent a message to their port agent advising
of "cash to master" payments they were going to make to the agent's
account for subsequent delivery to the ship. The money duly arrived
but almost immediately the agent received a message saying that the
payments were not required and could the agent return the funds.
The message included the account details for the repayment.
Fortunately the agent was concerned about the message and
telephoned their principal to check. The fraud therefore failed but
it is unlikely that this will be the only use of this particular
Members should verify suspicious instructions by telephoning the
other party. Members should not reply directly to the email but
instead re-enter the email address from a previous message that was
accepted as being authentic. Similarly, members should not
call a telephone number in the fraudulent email.
85 Gracechurch St, London EC3V 0AA, +44 (0) 20 7623 1111, firstname.lastname@example.org