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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

Smart label helping beat counterfeiters

China-based company WaliMai has developed RFID-based anti-counterfeit labels that are fixed to a product to let consumers know for certain that it is genuine. Matthew Stock reports.

Smart label helping beat counterfeiters

STORY: Counterfeiting in China is big business. Knock-off goods range from designer handbags and cosmetics, to food and medicines. The 2008 tainted milk scandal caused domestic consumers to be wary of made-in-China milk products, leading to a rise in imports from the West. Those imports became a prime target for counterfeiters. The WaliMai anti-counterfeit label aims to help parents know for sure their baby formula is genuine. SOUNDBITE (English) ALEXANDER BUSAROV, CO-FOUNDER & CEO OF WALIMAI, SAYING: “The way it works for the consumer is that they come to the shop, they take their mobile phone, they touch the label with their mobile phone. It takes about 2 seconds for the confirmation and re-writing of the codes. And then the first piece of information that they get is that it’s actually authentic. Then to add on to that there’s all the information on the logistic supply chain so they can see where the product was produced, where it was packed, where it entered the country that they’re in – in our case it’s China – when it was checked in our warehouse, and also they can see their own scan.” WaliMai says they have ‘banking-level’ security inside. The embedded RFID chip has a re-writable memory, changing with every scan. They say this makes it virtually impossible to counterfeit. Each label is single use; and is destroyed when the product is opened. SOUNDBITE (English) ALEXANDER BUSAROV, CO-FOUNDER & CEO OF WALIMAI, SAYING: “There’s an antenna within the label which gets torn and it’s very difficult to put it back together; you basically need a lab for that which acts as a deterrent for a counterfeiter to actually deal with it.” WaliMai’s smart label will soon be used on bottles of alcohol – another sector battling Chinese counterfeiters. The company hopes the technology could one day help tackle the huge global problem of counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

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Henry Sapiecha