Ontario businesses targeted by 2 types of email scams: OPP

The OPP and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre are warning Ontario businesses of two email scams, one of which has reportedly caused typical losses of over $100,000.

In one scam, police say, the victim receives an email that appears to come from an executive or superior within their own company who has the authority to request money transfers.

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In some cases, the fraudsters create emails that mimic the CEO or CFO of the potential victim’s company, officers add, while in others, they compromise and use the CEO’s or CFO’s actual emails.

A fake email is then sent to an employee who is authorized to send wire transfers, police say, and indicates that the executive is working off-site but that there’s an outstanding payment that needs to be made as soon as possible.

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According to officers, the fraudster executive provides a name and dollar amount where the funds should be sent. Typical losses in this scam amount to over $100,000, police add.

In the second scam, OPP say, fraudsters claim to be a regular or existing supplier to a business.

The fraudster sends a fake email to the business, informing people about new pay arrangements with new fake banking details and the request that future payments be made to the new account, police say.

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According to police, fraudsters are also calling businesses with stolen credit card information to make large purchases.

To stop business scams, OPP say people should:

  • Beware of regular email requests for urgent fund transfers
  • Contact the individual requesting money in person or by phone before sending fund transfers to confirm the request is legitimate
  • Watch for spelling and formatting errors, and beware of clicking on any attachments in an email
  • Wait the prescribed amount of time from the specified credit card company before the items are delivered

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Anyone who’s been a victim of fraud or knows someone who has been affected by such scams can contact their local police service or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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