Salmon Arm  

Salmon Arm RCMP say fraudsters impersonating local business owner scammed client out of $100K

$100K lost in email scam

Mounties say a client of a Salmon Arm business was scammed into transferring $100,000 to a fraudulant bank account after receiving emails from someone impersonating the business owner.

In a statement, Salmon Arm RCMP Const. Andrew Hodges said the incident took place on May 1 in Blind Bay.

“A business owner reported that a client had transferred $100,000 into a fraudulent bank account, where the payments were intended to go to the owner's bank account,” Hodges said.

“The client provided a statement to police and explained he had been in communication through email with the owner for two years.”

Police said the client had received an email saying the business was closing its bank account, and new account information was provided. Two transfers of $50,000 each were made to the new account number. The client contacted the business owner after an attempted third transfer.

“The business owner then learned of the emails the client had received, which were not sent by anyone from the business and were fraudulent,” Hodges said. “The bank has since frozen the account the payments were made to.”

The incident remains under investigation.

Mounties said this type of fraud is becoming more common, as it allows scammers to potentially walk away with thousands of dollars. Police recommend confirming payment information by speaking directly with the intended receiver rather than relying on an email or text.

The Salmon Arm RCMP is hosting a free scam and fraud presentation at the Salmar Grand Theatre on Wednesday, May 29. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website has more information about common scams and how people can protect themselves.

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