Success story: Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and United States Secret Service freeze $212,000
This bulletin was prepared to share a success story with the public. On May 4th, 2023 the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the United States Secret Service along with a financial institution were able to freeze a $212,000 fraudulent transfer. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre assisted victims in recovering $2.9M in 2022. The funds were frozen after a business reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre that they were a victim of a Spear Phishing incident. As a result, the business is well positioned to recover their funds. This success story illustrates one of the benefits of reporting to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre as quickly as possible when targeted by fraud.
Spear Phishing is one of the most common and most dangerous attack methods currently used to conduct fraud, usually on businesses and organizations. Fraudsters take their time to collect information on their intended targets, so they can send convincing emails seemingly from a trusted source.
Fraudsters will infiltrate or spoof a business or individual email account. They create a rule to send copies of incoming emails forwarded to one of their own accounts. They comb through these emails to:
- study the sender's use of language
- look for patterns linked to important contacts, payments, and dates
How to protect yourself
- Remain current on frauds targeting businesses and educate all employees
- Include fraud training as part of new employee onboarding
- Put in place detailed payment procedures
- Encourage a verification step for unusual requests
- Establish fraud identifying, managing and reporting procedures
- Avoid opening unsolicited emails or clicking on suspicious links or attachments
- Take a few seconds to hover over an email address or link and confirm that they are correct
- Restrict the amount of information shared publicly and show caution with regards to social media
- Upgrade and update technical security software
- Learn more tips and tricks for protecting yourself
Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of cybercrime or fraud should report it to their local police and to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre's online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501. If not a victim, you should still report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
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