Cyber criminals have scammed art galleries and dealers out of millions of pounds with a simple email deception trick, the Art Newspaper has reported.
Hackers reportedly breached dealers’ email accounts, duplicated invoices and changed the bank details before sending the documents on to prospective buyers.
An insurance broker told the newspaper that some galleries had lost between £10,000 and £1m. Several galleries in London and the US have been affected.
The Society of London Arts Dealers’ director general Christopher Battiscombe told the BBC he is “very concerned” about the problem:
“As all of us are compelled to do more and more of our business online, it seems to me inevitable that criminals will focus increasingly in this area and we all need to think about the risks involved and whether we are doing enough to protect ourselves against them.”