This briefing note from Stephenson Harwood is all about the rise of ‘email fraud’ and recovery litigation in Hong Kong.

The paper talks about how due to the rapid change in the technological landscape, ‘email fraud’ is becoming more and more prevalent. They talk about how upon discovery of the fraud, time is of the essence to identify the bank account to which money had been transferred to and freeze the same. Tracing exercises should also be done in cases where there are many layers of recipients. If the relevant bank account has been frozen, then victims can apply for default judgments against the fraudster and subsequent recipients (if any).

Certainly, email fraud is something we are seeing big rise in too, and something that numerous people still unfortunately fall victim to. Sadly, fraudsters are often very clever and incredibly deceptive and thus even the most diligent of people can be affected.

However, that being said, the better the education is of employees the more likely it is that we can avoid email fraud permeating our workplaces. Ultimately, whilst this might sound pessimistic, people need to be sceptical and really focus on sender details. If there are ever any doubts about the sender, they shouldn’t open it and should instead seek advice.

Likewise, there needs to be a focus on good cyber hygiene and technology. With the pandemic, organisations will need to ensure that they are more ready to address these types of issues as the work from home and hybrid scenarios continue. Email fraud isn’t going anywhere – so we need to be ready.

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