Calgary Police Service are warning Calgarians about a scam targeting local businesses.
Ten Calgary businesses have reported being targeted by the scam and have lost around $100,000 this year.
Fraudsters pretend to work for reputable post-secondary institutions and contact businesses saying they want to purchase products that business sells.
After speaking with the company, the scammers send them a fraudulent purchase order that is made to look like it’s from the post-secondary institution.
The items are then shipped to a local address not associated with any post-secondary institution.
Businesses don’t receive payment for the items and the items have been shipped to a new location by the scammers.
Scammers are using real names of employees from the institutions to make the scam seem more legitimate.
CPS released the following tips to help prevent being the victim of a scam:
- Always check email addresses to ensure they are authentic
- Hover your mouse over links and email addresses to check where the link truly directs to. If the URL/email address doesn’t match, or seems suspicious, don’t click on it.
- Look for poor grammar, spelling mistakes, or language that seems inconsistent with how someone in that job would speak.
- Be suspicious of high pressure tactics such as needing orders completed quickly and persistent contact looking for updates.
- Update your email security settings and your computer’s antivirus software.
- If you are suspicious about a business transaction, contact the company directly through a method you know to be accurate to confirm the information.