10 businesses hit by email purchase order scammers
Calgary police say 10 local businesses have reported being targeted by a purchasing order scam this year.
The scam involves fraudsters pretending to work for post-secondary institutions and contacting businesses under the guise of placing an order for a product that business sells, police said in a news release Thursday.
“After speaking with the company or receiving a quote for the products, the scammers send the business a fraudulent purchase order, which has been made to look like a legitimate purchase order from the post-secondary institution,” police said.
“The items are then shipped to a local address, not associated to a post-secondary institution, and the business does not get paid.”
Police say fraudsters are typically attempting to order $50,000 to $100,000 worth of items on credit in each instance. The 10 businesses lost a total of about $100,000 this year.
Scammers are using real employee names and details from Calgary post-secondary institutions, and are spoofing email addresses and domain names to make it seem like the communications are coming from an official source, police said.
Police released a list of tips for business owners and their employees, including: always check email addresses to ensure they are authentic.