Waterloo Regional Police Initiate Social Media Campaign on Business Email Compromise Scam

Waterloo Region, Ontario – Waterloo Regional Police are warning businesses to be vigilant when responding to requests for money transfers after some local companies reported falling victim to a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam.

These scams are conducted by thieves who use sophisticated techniques to get business executives to wire money to overseas accounts.

BEC Scam - How it Works:
The scammer e-mails a senior executive in the business, requesting a money transfer (typically, the fraudster will use an address that’s similar to the target’s domain name, but will be changed by one or two characters, i.e. wrps or wrpps). Instead of being used for a legitimate business expense, however, the money is transferred to the cyber thieves.

In other cases, the thief poses as a senior executive and asks someone in the accounting department to be part of a “secret project” that can’t be discussed with anyone. They are asked to transfer money as quickly as possible.

Because these thieves take time to get to know the organization they are scamming, the requests are typically filled with language and information that is specific to the company. The dollar amounts requested are not ones that would be out of the ordinary for that company, thus the request does not raise alarm bells.

Businesses in Waterloo Region have been targeted in this scam. During the past month, Waterloo Regional Police have received three reports of local companies being targeted.

To help educate business owners and employees on this type of scam, the Waterloo Regional Police Service is initiating a two-week social media campaign entitled #fraudorfrauud – Can You Tell the Difference? This campaign will focus on educational components and helpful tips to encourage businesses to be proactive when it comes to avoiding scams.

Waterloo Regional Police want to remind the public to never give out personal or financial information online unless you are certain of whom you are providing it to. If you have been a victim of this type of fraud, please contact police at 519-653-7700. Your information may help protect others from becoming a victim.

For more information visit http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htmor http://www.wrps.on.ca/stay-safe/your-personal-safety/fraud-prevention or https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/index-eng.aspx

Cherri Greeno
Media Relations Coordinator
Waterloo Regional Police Service
200 Maple Grove Road
Cambridge ON N3H 5M1
(519) 653-7700 ext. 8773
Cherri.greeno@wrps.on.ca

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