FRAUD ATTACK HITS SILVER CHEF HARD

FRAUD ATTACK HITS SILVER CHEF HARD

BRISBANE-based Silver Chef Limited (ASX: SIV) has become the victim of a serious fraud involving dodgy customers working with fraudulent GoGetta equipment vendors which has forced the company to downgrade its earnings forecast.

The company says that the circumstances giving rise to the fraud attack is "complex" and that it involves "false identity information used by fraudulent customers and equipment vendors across a number of low dollar value contracts".

Silver Chef acknowledged that cybercrime is on the increase and poses a significant challenge to its business as well as the financial services sector as a whole.

"Silver Chef, similar to other financial services companies, operates in an environment where it must constantly improve its systems and processes to guard against the risk of credit application fraud," says the company.

As a result of these developments, the company is implementing various actions to address the risk. 

The rental equipment specialist revised its earnings after tax for the six months to 31 December to $4 - $5 million.  This is significantly down from its actual earnings after tax of $10.3 million in the same period last financial year. 

The company says the dramatic fall is due to bad debts and impairments flowing from the fraud incident as well as changes in overheads such as salaries and marketing costs.

The company's shares are trading at $9.80 as at 11 am AEST, a fall of 11.5 per cent from yesterday.

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