Police advising businesses to personally verify email requests

Lethbridge Regional Police are warning local businesses about a scam where fraudsters send emails that appear to come from a legitimate employee – often the owner, manager or someone else in a position of authority – requesting the wire transfer of funds.

Over the weekend two separate businesses reported the scam. In one case the employee who received the email contacted the person who supposedly sent it prior to going through with the wire transfer and the attempted fraud was thwarted. However in the second case no steps were taken to verify or confirm the authenticity of the request and two wire transfers, totaling approximately $160,000, were completed.

The criminals carrying out this scam are researching businesses in order to access the names of legitimate employees and create email accounts that appear to be authentic. Upon closer inspection of the sender’s address, however, there is often an extra letter or some other anomaly.

Police are reminding employees to always personally verify with their employer/supervisor any requests for money transfers, even if they appear to come from a legitimate email address.