Computer fraud siphons $375,000 from City of Prince George: RCMP | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Computer fraud siphons $375,000 from City of Prince George: RCMP

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November 10, 2020 - 1:17 PM

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - RCMP say the City of Prince George has become the victim of a significant fraud.

The city called police in September when staff sent two payments to a contractor for more than $700,000, but the cash was never received.

Police say the money was fraudulently redirected.

READ MORE: How scammers use new, sophisticated ways to target Okanagan businesses

The Mounties say in a news release investigators worked with financial institutions to recover most of one payment, but $375,000 remains lost.

They say officers are following several leads and working with international partners to identify those responsible for the sophisticated computer-based fraud.

Cpl. Craig Douglass says there are no indications that the city was hacked or that personal information was compromised.

RCMP offered the following list of tips:

  • Be on the lookout for invoices that use the name of legitimate companies. Scammers will use real company names to make the invoices seem authentic. Make sure you inspect invoices thoroughly before you make a payment;
  • Be extra cautious of vendors that suddenly change the method that they accept payments;
  • Compile a list of companies your business uses to help employees know which contacts are real and which are not;
  • Always verify that the organization you are dealing with is legitimate before you take any other action;
  • Carefully verify email addresses and web domain names for any online payments.

For more information or to report a fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or www.antifraudcentre.ca.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2020.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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