B.C. employee falls victim to ‘CEO scam,’ buys $500 in iTunes money for boss

The employee assumed an email came from her supervisor back in September, asking her to go out and purchase $500 in iTunes gift cards.

A clerical employee at a government agency in the Lower Mainland was duped into buying $500 in gift cards recently. RCMP are now issuing a warning about the notorious “CEO scam.”

North Vancouver RCMP said Tuesday that the employee received an email from her supervisor back in September, asking her to go out and purchase $500 in iTunes gift cards.

The supervisor claimed he was in a lengthy meeting, too busy to do this himself, and for her to forward the iTunes card details back to him, police said.

But after sending her supervisor the information – only to be asked again shortly after – the employee became suspicious.

Turns out it wasn’t her supervisor behind those emails after all – a known dupe that police have coined the CEO scam. In a typical scam of this kind, fraudsters gain access to email accounts of an executive or supervisor and target employees with the authority to access and move money, police said.

“Fraudsters send realistic-looking emails, requesting urgent wire transfers or gift card purchases for what appear to be legitimate business or personal reasons, such as securing an important contract, or a confidential transaction,” North Vancouver RCMP said.

Losses to this type of scam can range from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars.

North Vancouver RCMP suggest a number of ways business owners can protect themselves against such scams:

  • Ensure your computer systems are secure, keep anti virus software up to date, and encourage all employees to use strong passwords to protect their email accounts from hackers.
  • Take a careful look at the sender’s e-mail address. It may be very similar to the real one, with only one or two letters being different.
  • Double-check with executives when they send wire transfer requests by e-mail, even when they look legitimate. Don’t use the contact information provided in the message and don’t reply to the e-mail.
  • Establish a standard process that requires multiple approvals for money transfers.
  • Limit the amount of employee information available online and on social media. Fraudsters use it to find potential victims and time their targeted fraud.

@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Castlegar water rates set to rise for commercial, industrial users; no change for single-family homes

Multi-family residences are also likely to see a price hike in 2019

Thousands donated to Castlegar health centre campaign

Money will go to purchasing new equipment

Climbing group launches fundraiser for Castlegar cliffs

TAWKROC wants to raise $60,000 to purchase the property from the owners

Wanted man captured by Trail RCMP

Ishmani Baker was arrested at a rural property on Columbia Gardens Road

Accident causes headaches for Castlegar commuters

Traffic backed up at intersection with Highway 3

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read