Mounties are reminding business owners to beware of a common scam circulating in the Central Okanagan.
The Kelowna RCMP is asking the local business community to beware of a cyber fraud that entails a criminal targeting a business and exploiting an existing relationship with a supplier, wholesaler or contractor.
“An employee in the finance department of your company will receive an email that is addressed to them specifically. The email will be from the cybercriminal, however, it will look like it is coming from another company that you do business with,” RCMP said in a press release, explaining this technique is called spear phishing.
“The criminal will ask for your company’s direct deposit form as they are changing their banking information or there will be a fake invoice included in the email asking for payment and there will be account information included of where to send the payment. When your company pays the invoice or does the next scheduled payment, the money will be deposited into the criminal’s bank account.”
How to avoid be a victim of this scam:
- Be diligent when encountering these types of emails or anything similar.
- Make direct contact with the company to ensure this is actually coming from them.
- Do not use the phone numbers or email addresses that are included in the email received, as this will just lead you to the cybercriminal.
If you believe you have already fallen victim to this scam:
- Report it to your local police
- Contact Equifax Canada (1-800-465-7166) or TransUnion Canada (1-877-525-3823)
More information on this and other common scams can be found on the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website at antifraudcentre.ca