The NT Federal Investigations Unit – Financial Crimes – are investigating a high-value fraud as a result of a complaint they received in September from the GNWT.
A vendor was the subject of a cyber-phishing campaign, which led to the suspect obtaining a list of invoices, including an invoice payable by one of the GNWT departments. The suspect then created a fake website and email addresses closely resembling that of the actual company and its employees.
Using these false credentials, the company then sent a false invoice matching a legitimate outstanding invoice payable to the actual company, and requested the invoice be paid to a different financial institution than usual.
The invoice was paid and it was soon deemed fraudulent. The GNWT quickly reported it to the RCMP, which allowed quick decisive actions by the RCMP and banking partners. The entire sum was recovered and returned to the GNWT.
There have been several similar frauds targeting large and small businesses and governments throughout Canada and the NWT states Staff Sergeant Dean Riou, in charge of the Federal Investigations Unit.
“This incident serves as a reminder to diligently check the email address and credentials of any entity requesting payment from you or your business.”
Even though the money has been recovered, the Financial Crimes Unit is continuing their criminal investigation. No one has been charged at this time.
Anyone with information on fraud or any other criminal activity is asked to call Yellowknife RCMP at 669-1111. You can also report any fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or report online at www.antifraudcentre.ca.