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Police are warning Guelph business owners of an email hacking fraud that has already resulted in a local business losing thousands of dollars.
The fraud is often referred to as “The Supplier Swindle” and police say it works like this: the fraudsters will have had access to a business’ email for enough time to become familiar with communications that have taken place in the past.
Businesses will receive fraudulent emails from a spoofed or compromised email address, asking for payments for services or merchandise to be made to a different bank account, or for e-transfers to be sent to a different email address.
The fraudsters may reference past email communications or other people in the company in an attempt to pull off the swindle.
Police did not identify the local business that fell victim to this scam and they said it is unknown how or when the company’s email account was compromised.
Businesses that make payments to any company or person using money or wire transfers, e-transfers or direct deposits should never accept changes in banking information through email, officers said. Direct contact with the appropriate person should be made by phone to ensure the requested change is legitimate.
Guelph police also highlighted a recent announcement from the Federal Bureau of Investigation recommending businesses establish a company domain name and use that to create company email accounts, instead of free, web-based accounts.
The announcement also recommends businesses use the ‘Forward’ option and then type in the correct email address to ensure the intended recipient’s correct email is used.
Victims of fraud are encouraged to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 1-888-495-8501 to report it.
Read the full story over at The Record.com