There have been at least three local cases in the past three weeks involving attempted scams against area businesses involving fraudulent wire transfers. Bremerton PD is investigating two of these cases, a third occurred elsewhere in the county. Our department warns business owners to be aware of these tactics and to take extra precautions to prevent becoming a victim.
In all three cases, a person with financial authority at the company receives an email which is apparently from the CEO or the head of the business. The e-mail is written informally, and requests an immediate wire transfer for a business purpose. The name of the employee, the familiarity of the e-mails themselves, and the names used, leads the employee to believe the e-mail came directly from the business executive. In these cases, there is also a sense of urgency and the e-mail writer becomes annoyed if the employee asks for more information. In all three cases, the employee later found the executive never made the contact or made the request. All three cases are under investigation, and two resulted in losses of thousands of dollars. Two of the three requested funds to be wired to locations in the U.S.; the third was to Taiwan.
“This appears to be related to ongoing scams where hackers get internal information from companies, and now they are trying to use the information to fraudulently receive funds through wire transfers,” said Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan. The FBI has also issued a scam warning on August 27 related to this type of scam. A link to the warning and how to prevent and respond are below.
“Business owners should be aware that there are people out there trying to impersonate chief executives and demand “urgent” wire transfers. Being aware and taking precautions is the best way to fight back and not be a victim,” said Chief Strachan.
Link to FBI Warning: http://www.ic3.gov/media/2015/150827-1.aspx