The latest scam in Saskatoon involves fraudsters convincing people to change direct deposit information to divert paycheques from employees’ pockets, according to police.
A public advisory from the economic crime unit on Tuesday says scammers are now targeting human resources (HR) and finance departments.
The fraudsters are often making contact through phishing emails, according to the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS).
The scam tricks employees into changing the bank account and routing information so that people’s paycheques are deposited into accounts controlled by fraudsters.
Scammers’ emails falsely appear to come from a payroll director or high-profile employee and often say: “I need to update my direct deposit information.”
The fake emails look legitimate, are cordial and well-written, investigators said.
Using services like Gmail, the scammers create a new email account and fill in the employee’s name, allowing them to bypass tools meant to detect such fraudulent attempts.
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People are advised by police to obtain verification with the actual employee, such as verbal or in-person confirmation, before changing any banking information.
If a similar email is received, people are asked not to respond or engage the sender. Instead, save the phishing email for evidence and contact Saskatoon police at 306-975-8300 or attend SPS headquarters.