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

BC Ferries confirms Northern Sea Wolf to sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

BC Parks Student Ranger Program accepting applications for 2019 season

12 crews of four student rangers will work in regions throughout the province including Bella Coola.

Over $650,00 given to rural communities thanks to Rural Dividends

Five communities, including Williams Lake, are receiving $10,000 for project grants

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Road report for Highway 20

Fog patches and slippery sections; Drive BC

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Parents in this B.C. city can no longer opt kids out of class for personal beliefs

Change comes as part of ‘big overhaul’ of school district’s learning resources policy approved by board

BC Hydro scammers bilked customers out of nearly $45,000 in 2018

Nearly 2,000 people reported scams to the utility, as they continue to be more common

Good news: Peak flu season over in B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says that while peak season is over, rates remain high this time of year

“Potent storm” expected to bring strong winds to central, north coast

A deep low pressure system is set to reach Vancouver Island and the central coast by Friday evening.

B.C. university students dumpster dive to shed light on food waste

Eating only from dumpsters, the students hope to raise money for food banks in Northern Canada

B.C. woman posts to Facebook after she and nephew reported missing for days

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Most Read