Modern technology has greatly contributed to the development of various sophisticated fraud schemes. Wire fraud is an act of deception that involves financial gain and is committed with the use of technology or telecommunications. This type of scam involves attempts to electronically steal people’s financial information, which is then used to access their credit cards or bank accounts. In such cases, the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) recommends individuals to be educated in the different types of frauds that exist, and to be aware of suspicious incoming emails and phone calls.
One common form of wire fraud is the “pretender scheme”. The “pretender scheme” occurs when scammers send invoices requesting payment for goods and services purchased. This can become alarming as outstanding invoices may push individuals to quickly pay it off. These invoices are falsified. They are made believable as they are addressed to a name that resembles closely to a current active account, and having similar domain names can cause unsuspecting individuals to fall for the scam. Victims should be aware that the goods claimed to have been purchased have not actually been purchased and that they should not be paying off the invoices. Therefore, it is important to always check if invoices correspond to what was truly bought. If there are any doubts, a phone call to the company can be a good way to offer clarity.
Another common form of wire fraud is phishing emails. This occurs when fraudsters send attachments in emails to employees of a company. When this attachment is opened, company networks are infiltrated with viruses, and these viruses can access all the private business’ client information. Once personal information pertaining to credit card data has been leaked, scammers can exploit and manipulate the information on the internet as they wish, and to their own financial benefit.
Wire frauds are common and can lead to the loss of millions of dollars with just a few clicks of buttons on the internet. Here are some tips, provided by the VPD to prevent such drastic losses. The VPD recommends individuals to be vigilant on incoming emails. This can be carried out by watching out for spelling and formatting errors, and it is suggested to make contact with the company to conform that the invoice is legitimate. Furthermore, fraudsters may gain access to business client lists, and may mimic the company by asking for money transfers. Businesses can prevent this by safeguarding themselves with a stronger security network, and by ensuring that all money transfers require a two-level authorization prior sending funds.To report fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center to file a report and the Canadian credit bureaus for assistance. For more information on wire fraud and the different forms of financial crime, you can visit http://vancouver.ca/police/organization/investigation/investigative-support-services/general-investigation/financial-crime.html