Fraudulant Purchase Order Email Scam

  • 30 Jun 2017

What is the fraudulent purchase order scam?

UCC has recently been targeted by a series of fraudulent purchase order emails. This is a scam wherein fraudsters attempt to obtain equipment from suppliers by providing them with a forged UCC purchase order.

 

The scam operates in the following way: A supplier will receive an email requesting a quotation for specific item/s of equipment, often medical or I.T. equipment, and often in large quantities and of high value. Once the quotation has been provided, a purchase order is emailed to the supplier, which bears resemblance to an authentic UCC purchase order. The purchase order typically instructs delivery to an address not affiliated with UCC. After shipping the item/s of equipment, the supplier never receives payment and is unable to retrieve the shipped products.

How to identify the Fraudulent emails/POs:

  • Incorrect domain names are used to send emails and purchase orders. A valid UCC email address will always end in @ucc.ie or @tyndall.ie An example of an incorrect domain being used in these fraudulent emails is @uccie.com
  • The shipping address is not a location in UCC. Fraudulent addresses will typically be a domestic residence or a self-storage facility, often based in Dublin, or other locations nowhere near UCC.
  • Poorly written email with grammatical errors are always a sign of a suspicious email.
  • Unusually large quantities are requested.
  • Rush to ship priority/overnight
  • Use of a false or unknown contact from the university. If requests are received from an unknown university contact that raises your suspicion, please contact the UCC Procurement Office by email: procurement@ucc.ie or by phone: 353 (0)21 490 3514 to verify the validity of the request. Do not contact the name/number used on the email/purchase order. Please note fraudulent emails may contain seemingly legitimate contact information so it is important to look for other signs.

What you can do:

Confirm legitimacy: If you are unsure about a quotation request sent by email, or the subsequent purchase order, please contact the UCC Procurement Office for confirmation of its legitimacy.
Report suspicious emails: If you have received any suspicious emails please forward them to aidan.punch@ucc.ie UCC is working with the Garda Cybercrime unit in relation to these attacks and further evidence of fraudulent emails will aid the investigation.

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