Vietnam warns firms of email hacking, bank fraud risks

By Toan Dao   July 16, 2016 | 09:00 pm PT
Vietnam warns firms of email hacking, bank fraud risks
A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. Photo by Reuters/Kacper Pempel
Vietnamese firm scammed into transferring money to fake Czech bank account.

Vietnam's E-Commerce and Information Technology Agency (Vecita) has issued a warning to Vietnamese companies, asking them to focus more on information security while making transactions with foreign partners.

According to Vecita, a Vietnamese company signed a contract to buy polyethylene from a Singaporean partner in June this year. The two companies had previously made transactions with each other through a bank in Singapore. It did not provide the names of the two companies.

Later in the month, the Vietnamese firm received an email allegedly from the Singaporean partner. The email, with a power of attorney attached, asked the former to make a payment through a bank account in the Czech Republic because the Singaporean company was in the process of being audited.

About a week later, the Vietnamese company contacted its Singaporean partner but the latter said they had not sent any such request and did not have a bank account in the Czech Republic.

Vecita believes details of the transaction between the two companies had been intercepted by a third party, who then set up a fake bank account in the Czech Republic and a fake email address to look like the Singaporean company. Soon after the Vietnamese company made the payment to the bank account in the Czech Republic, the third party withdrew the majority of the money from the bogus bank account.

The Vietnamese company has been asked to report the case to the Ministry of Public Security for investigation.

Vecita said it is not the first time that Vietnamese companies have been cheated through email intercepts and advised them to tighten information security for transactions with foreign partners.

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