Ian Scott, chairperson of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), revealed earlier this week that a scammer was able to fake his e-mail address, and attempted to defraud and extort money from CRTC staff.
In classic scamming fashion, the fraudster sent e-mails to Scott’s staff, asking them “to go out and buy thousands of dollars of gift cards,” as reported by The Globe and Mail.
The information came to light when Scott informed the Commons Industry and Technology (INDU) committee about the fraud attempt. INDU is currently investigating a separate incident involving fraudulent calls.
“They are very quick. Some of them are very sophisticated,” said Scott. “I have had employees with emails from me apparently. I don’t usually ask people to go out and buy thousands of dollars of iTunes cards.”
Further, according to Patricia Valladao, a CRTC spokesperson, “CRTC staff have been targeted by phishing campaigns in the past,” though none of the attempts have been successful at defrauding any of the staff. Since then, the CRTC has put some safeguards in place, like identifying if emails originate from outside the CRTC, awareness campaigns for staff and upgraded IT security tools.
Scott said he is working with the RCMP, the telecom industry, cyber spies at the Communications Security Establishment, and the Canada Revenue Agency to warn Canadians about such frauds.
In the recent past, similar scams have taken advantage of timely events. For example, in July, after Rogers’ widespread outage, scammers were quick to send customers fake refund links to ‘compensate’ for the outage. The same goes for scams relating to fraudsters posing as the CRA.
It is important for Canadians to be vigilant and not click on links or websites that guarantee money. The CRA or other Canadian organizations would never ask you to go out and buy gift cards for payments.
Source: The Globe and Mail