Saskatoon (August 14, 2019) – The Saskatoon Police are warning the public of a new wire fraud scam that targets the direct deposit information of employees. The scam involves the fraudsters reaching out directly to the Human Resources department of the target employee in order to perpetrate the fraud. The Saskatoon Police Economic Crime Unit made the public aware of the scheme on Tuesday.
The police expand that the scammer usually sends out emails to Human Resource departments in an attempt to convince them to change the direct deposit banking information of the employee into a bank account controlled by the fraudster. This way, the employee’s paycheck is being directly deposited to the fraudster’s account. The scam leaves the company with the loss since the employer is financially liable for the open paycheck.
The scheme is very elaborated. Emails often look legitimate and come from high-profile employees. The fraudsters create fake email accounts with free services such as Gmail. The fraudulent email addresses contain the employee’s name, adding credibility to the phishing attempt. Furthermore, the fake emails, unlike many fraudulent emails, are well written. One of the usual red flags of phishing emails is the quality of writing, they often contain misspellings, grammar mistakes or exclamation points. This is not the case with this particular fraud which makes it even harder to identify them as fraudulent.
Alternatively, the scammer poses as a legitimate vendor and have service payments redirected to another account or use ‘Phishing’ emails to trick the recipient into revealing personal information.
Anyhow, the police advise persons who receive a similar email, not to respond or engage the sender. Instead, obtain verification with the employee, such as verbal or in-person confirmation, before changing any personal information or records. Moreover, save the phishing email for evidence and file a police report immediately.
Anyone who has received a phishing email is encouraged to call their local Police Service.