BUSINESS ALERT : New Twist on Money Transfer Scams

  
     
December 23, 2013

The BBB advises that a new twist to the cheque cashing and money transfer scam is active in Saskatchewan and across Canada, and the target is the business and professional organization. Recently a large business was provided with standard form emailed information updating banking information for a known supplier, and indicating a migration to wired payments or online settlements by bank to bank payment through on line banking services or wire transfers. Internet banking is common today in both consumer and the business markets and changes in banking service can be expected on occasion. In the example cited to the BBB, information appeared very legitimate, and included good details, however the email addresses when viewed carefully were inaccurate and not related to or reflective of the legitimate email addresses for that supplier. For example the email address may historically have been jsmith@acme.com, but in the message communicating the updated bank information the address reads as jsmith@acme.link.com. In addition the banking information looked very legitimate but actually redirected to an off-shore bank, not to a bank in the country the supplier is located. The targeted transaction range appears to be between $100,000 and $150,000.

The BBB advises business and professional organizations to increase due diligence processes when attending to the settlement of accounts payable by online banking services and normal cheque writing processes. When business organizations receive email, fax or general mail correspondence advising of amended banking information for settlement of accounts the BBB recommends that due diligence processes be intensified to include as a minimum:

1. Telephone the supplier at your usual contact numbers to confirm any change in banking information;

2. Carefully review correspondence including fax numbers, email addresses, urls, origination of postage stamps on envelops, and other tell-tale indicators that might raise red flags;

3. Confirm that you ordered and received the goods or services detailed in the requested settlement;

4. Ask your bank to confirm the information related to the amended banking information request;

5. If in doubt, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, your local law enforcement organization, and the BBB.

Over recent years the RCMP Commercial Crimes Division and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre have identified the business community as a large and attractive target for sophisticated fraud and scam activity typically launched by organized crime. The perpetrators have access to large sums of cash, international and off-shore computer and call centre technology, are highly mobile, and are extremely difficult to capture in enforcement activity. The BBB believes it is important that business and professional organization make a point of knowing their customers and their suppliers.

If a consumer or business has any questions regarding these calls or calls of a similar nature, please contact the Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan at (306) 352-7601 or toll free to (800) 352-7601. You can also email us at info@sask.bbb.org or contact us online at www.sask.bbb.org. The Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan Inc. is a non-profit organization funded by accredited businesses throughout the province.


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ethical business practices in the marketplace.”

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