The Guelph Police Service – Fraud Unit would like to warn business owners of an email hacking fraud that has been occurring over the last few weeks and resulting in local businesses losing tens of thousands of dollars.
How the Fraud works:
Local businesses that deal with suppliers overseas have been receiving fraudulent emails asking that payments for services or merchandise be made to new bank accounts.
The fraudster will have had access to the businesses email for some time and will be familiar with communications that have taken place in the past and even reference these communications or other people in the company.
They will continue communications with the victim and intercept any communications sent by the actual business until the money has been received.
The local business will then receive a legitimate email asking for the payment of the outstanding invoices and it is at this point that the emails are determined to be fraudulent.
In the cases which have been reported to the Guelph Police so far it has been determined that the overseas company was the victim of the email hacking and that it may have been linked to wifi used to access company email accounts while staying at a hotel overseas.
Business that make payments to any company or person using Money Transfers, E Transfers or Direct Deposit into a bank account should never accept changes in banking information through email.
Direct contact should always be made with the appropriate person by phone to ensure that the payment information is in fact correct and legitimate prior to sending any payments.
If you have become a victim of fraud, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-495-8501 to report it.
If you have sustained a financial loss and wish to report it to the police please contact Jody Pringle-Mosey at 519-824-1212, extension 7216 to make a fraud appointment.