ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard says email compromise scams are increasingly common.(Supplied: ACCC)
Ms Rickard said the crime was becoming increasingly common, and that real estate buyers were a target.
“Conveyancing lawyers should always call and confirm, not just rely on an email,” she said.
Michael Connory, who runs a research organisation which looks into cyber events in Australia and New Zealand, said he had seen business email compromises double since this time last year.
In the 12 months to June this year, he said there had been a 127 per cent increase in these types of attacks, and that people were more vulnerable working from home using their own computers and WiFi.
Mr Connory said people needed to make sure they ran the latest anti-malware and anti-virus programs and secured passwords with two or multi-factor authentication.
He said people could also do regular credit score checks to make sure no-one had tried to steal their identities and request credit.
Money returned after anxious wait
Mr Fisher is one of the lucky ones.
After discovering what had happened, he contacted the two banks he had transferred the funds from and Tasmania Police.
Police traced the hacker to Queensland, even coming up with a name and address.
But when they went to the property, no-one by the hacker’s name was there.
A Queensland Police spokesman said the person might not even be a real, but that an alert had been issued in case they emerged again.
The investigation into Mr Fisher’s case remains open.
The money took four weeks to retrieve.
Mr Fisher said during that time he didn’t know if it was gone forever.
“I never want anyone to feel like we did, it was the longest month of my life,” Mr Fisher said.
Now happily ensconced in his unit, he said he feels like he’s finally on a par with his peers.
“It’s not winning the lottery, it’s putting me back where I should have been if I hadn’t been abused by an Anglican Priest,” he said.