NORTH BAY – Fraudsters are working from home, too.
On Wednesday, April 8, North Bay Police received a report from an employee of an essential business. The employee had received an email at work that appeared to be from their supervisor. The email said an emergency had come up and they needed money. The email advised to purchase $1,000 of Amazon gift cards. The employee purchased the cards, however, was concerned over the strange circumstances of the email. The employee was able to contact the real supervisor and confirm the email was bogus and the employee did not sent the card numbers so there was no financial loss.
The “Business Executive Scam” involves crafted emails sent to recipients by fraudsters pretending to be senior executives or supervisors (The Boss). These emails leverage social engineering and urgent requests to get employees to send money or carry out wire transfers. It’s always time sensitive and either involves money or sensitive information regarding the company.
According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, spear phishing scams topped the list in terms of reported dollar loss in accounting for 21 million dollars in losses to Canadians. The business executive variant where they claim to be a “President, CEO or Supervisor” of a company accounted for $10 million dollars of the reported losses. These scams continue in 2020 and may become more prevalent during the current situation where communication through email and social media platforms become a normal means of conducting business.
Detective Corrente, North Bay Police Service’s Fraud Investigator advises, “Knowledge is power. Every business should have a plan. Your best protection is to know how cyber criminals will come after you. Then educate all employees on what to look for, where to look for it and why there is an essential need to report these crimes.”
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre are the experts in mass marketing fraud and their website is an excellent place to start education. www.antifraudcentre.ca.
If you are a business or organization in Callander or North Bay and are interested in a fraud prevention presentation when things return to normal, please contact Community Safety Coordinator John Schultz at email@example.com for more information.