Lethbridge police have sent out a warning to local businesses, asking them to be aware of what they’re calling “CEO frauds.”
The new online scam involves an email that impersonates the CEO, CFO or member of a management team, and requests funds or a wire transfer to an outside account.
Sgt. Paolo Magliocco, with the economic crimes unit at the Lethbridge Police Service, said it’s important businesses take steps to ensure their employees are well trained in recognizing these scams and exercising skepticism when it comes to financial requests.
“Any request to confirm banking details, change banking details or request to move money should be done in person,” Magliocco said.
“Ensure that you never accept requests like that via email or telephone.”
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Police said the fake emails currently circulating look professional, often including language that makes the request sound urgent and confidential. But, Lethbridge police warn these scammers are highly trained in researching their potential victims to create believable requests.
In August, the City of Saskatoon fell victim to one of these scams and lost more than $1 million.
Police said so far they’ve been made aware of two significant “CEO frauds” in Lethbridge, including two large corporations, one of which involved a public institution that police say lost $350,000.