10 busi­nesses hit by email pur­chase or­der scam­mers

Calgary Herald - - CITY -

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.

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