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Fraudsters steal $50,000 from Queensland university

Fraudsters have stolen tens of thousands of dollars from a Queensland university, prompting a warning from the state’s auditor general Brendan Worrall.

The Queensland Audit Office revealed there had been an increase in external attempts to divert employee and supplier payments to illegitimate bank accounts across the sector.

Universities have been warned about increasing attempts to switch bank account details to gain access to employee and supplier payments.Credit:Reuters

In one case, Griffith University did not adhere to processes to independently verify requests to change existing supplier bank account details, resulting in a “small fraudulent payment” last year, an Audit Office report revealed.

A fraudulent request was made by an external source to change an existing supplier’s bank account details and divert payments to an illegitimate bank account.

Griffith University vice-president of corporate services Peter Bryant said an external supplier was hacked, resulting in a $52,000 loss last financial year.

“Griffith University takes fraud prevention very seriously,” he said.

“Last year, the university commissioned an expert review and adopted all recommendations to strengthen fraud prevention measures.

“New measures include improved staff training, business processes and additional bank account checks.”

The Queensland Audit Office recommended universities verify bank account detail changes for suppliers and employees through an independent source, not the person who requested the change.

In addition, the Audit Office found electronic funds transfer (EFT) files were not appropriately secured at Griffith University and the University of Southern Queensland.

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Henry Sapiecha

Here’s how to avoid being rorted by mining scams

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Calling a class “bullshit,” and in public, would normally be considered inappropriate, but there’s one where students can get away with it.

Two University of Washington professors are teaching a course to help learners “think critically about the data and models that constitute evidence in the social and natural sciences,” according to the introduction to the course.

At the end of it, students should be able to “provide your crystals-and-homeopathy aunt or casually racist uncle with an accessible and persuasive explanation of why a claim is bullshit,” according to the syllabus.

Simon Houlding, Vice-President of Professional Development for InfoMine Inc., and head of EduMine, the professional development division, believes the course could potentially be a useful tool for trying to make sense of mining news and reports.

Resource companies could benefit too, especially when it comes to monitoring and limiting financial and political risk associated to their operations and projects.

The course, also available online, might have even prevented investors from falling for some of the worst mining scams, such as Canada’s Bre-X Minerals, which shook Bay Street in the 1990s when its claims about an Indonesian gold find turned out to be fake, according to Houlding.

Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data, is not the only, nor the first course to deal with topics related to mining scams and the risk of investing in juniors. EduMine’s 360° Mining and An Introduction to Mining Investment – Understanding the Risks both provide in-depth information on how to identify and evaluate the risks involved in mining investments and hence make informed decisions about how and when to invest in a mine or mining company.

These courses can help you identify and evaluate the risks involved in mining investments before it’s too late.

For more information and to register, please visit: http://www.edumine.com/courses/online-courses/

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Henry Sapiecha