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

Car accident on Leckie Road backs up traffic

An accident involving a bus is blocking traffic driving near Dilworth Mountain

Top Okanagan wedding venue no longer allows wedding ceremonies

Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park and Kaloya Regional Park will no longer allow the ceremonies

Okanagan College has new entrepaneur-in-residence

Jason Richards, has been involved in a number of start-ups over his career

Kelowna Pride Society looks for community feedback

The society is already planning this year’s festivities

Accident reported on Harvey Avenue in Kelowna

The two vehicle accident happened this afternoon

UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal in 432-202 vote

House of Commons votes against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Police allege Garry Handlen told a cop how he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled Monica Jack in May 1978

Letters on way to all homeowners in B.C. speculation tax communities

Property owners have to register to avoid vacant-home tax

New orca calf in Salish Sea ‘healthy and active’

Birth cause for celebration but things still dire genetically, expert says

Good Samaritan rescues cat found in heaps of garbage at B.C. landfill

The cat was abandoned and left to die at the Foothills Boulevard Regional Landfill, the BC SPCA says

Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna home to Canada’s most expensive rentals: report

According to PadMapper, units in larger B.C. cities cost $1,300 to more than $3,000

Vernon ices Kelowna, freezes even with Salmon Arm on ringette rink

Ringette action sees U10 Ice Breakers beat Kelowna 7-6 and tie 6-6 against Salmon Arm

Most Read