OPP warns businesses of phone and email scam

© Can Stock Photo / ra2studio

The Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Rackets Branch and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has a warning for businesses; confirm your emails and phone messages.

The OPP says businesses have been targeted by two scams lately; the “Business Executive Scam and the “Card Not Present Scam”.

The first scam works like this: the potential victim receives an email that appears to come from an executive or a supervisor within their own company who has the authority to request money transfers. In some cases, the email looks like it came from the CEO or the CFO. It says the executive is working off-site and says payment must be made as soon as possible. A name and bank account are provided where the money must be sent to, and the amount requested is usually over $100,000.

The “Card Not Present Scam” targets businesses with existing relationships with suppliers, wholesalers, or contractors. The buyers get an email informing them of a change in payment arrangements complete with new banking details that future payments should be made. The scammers also call the business and provide them with stolen credit card information to make a large urgent purchase. Businesses get scammed when the supplier never receives the purchase and is left on the hook for the payment.

Police have some tips to avoid being taken including being wary of irregular, urgent fund transfers, contacting the supplier or contractor by phone, watching for spelling mistakes in the email, and not clicking any attachments which may contain viruses or spyware.

Any business that has been the victim of the scams should call the police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or online.