Ontario Provincial Police have charged two Toronto-area suspects in connection with a scam targeting sports associations in both Winnipeg and Arnprior, Ont.
East Region OPP said Tuesday that officers were contacted by an Arnprior sports association in April 2019 after the group believed it had fallen victim to a spear phishing scam.
Such schemes usually involve fraudsters building up profiles of prospective targets and soliciting them with falsified credentials to ask for payment.
In this instance, OPP say fraudsters used spoofed emails to the organizations’ treasurers directing them to e-transfer funds to fake vendors.
The initial tip led OPP investigators to another sports association in Winnipeg, which fell victim to the same scam.
An OPP spokesperson said the combined losses from the two parties totalled nearly $20,000.
Two individuals from Toronto are now facing charges related to the scheme.
Tracy Olajumoke Ekubor, aged 35, and Ibrahim Abayomi Ekemode, aged 39, are both facing charges of fraud over $5,000 and laundering proceeds of a crime. Ekubor is also facing additional charges of false pretenses and fraud under $5,000, while Ekemode is charged with theft/forgery of a credit card.
March is Fraud Prevention Month, according to the Competition Bureau of Canada. Accordingly, the OPP encourages organizations to implement anti-fraud training for all new hires and to put diligent payment procedures in place to screen out potential scam artists.