PRINCE GEORGE, BC: In early September of this year, the Prince George RCMP received a report of a significant fraud from the City of Prince George…
Staff at the City advised that two payments to a contractor totaling over $700,000 had been fraudulently redirected and were never received. Investigators were able to work with financial institutions to recoup most of one payment, however approximately $375,000 remains outstanding.
Officers are following multiple leads and working with international partners to identify the person or persons responsible for this sophisticated computer based fraud.
The Prince George RCMP is aware of recent, similar frauds being committed in our community and elsewhere in Canada. Investigators want to remind other governments, businesses & individuals to be mindful of computer based frauds, and would like to offer the following 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.