We were recently sent the following notice which looks very legitimate from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
This is a Scam!
Anytime a government notice is received that does not make sense you can Google Scam Alert and then something that is in the title of the notice.
In this case we googled Scam Alert CMS and the scam alert popped right up!
There are many scams that surface towards the end of the year and throughout tax season!
So your motto should be – When in doubt…Check it out!
Everyone should be aware of scam that is on the increase – executive wire fraud!
Scammers are successfully targeting companies with an email scam that might look like this-
The above email looks totally legitimate!
When you hit reply notice the reroute email above…it should say Dirk@Nohre.com!
Here are some other common methods these scammers are doing –
- Spoofed email to employee allegedly from CEO, President, CFO asking for emergency wire transfer
- Spoofed email from an executive of the company citing a “confidential deal” and asking employee to contact an outside “attorney” for further instruction
- Spoofed email to employee (often in accounts payable department) allegedly from a vendor asking to change the vendor’s address and payment information
- Spoofing email, asks the staff person (from the executive) Are you in the office? The staff person says yes. The second email says “I need assistance with a payment to a vendor for a consulting service $15,000. Should I send the bank details?”
They are clever! Always be looking at the actual email address not just the name for a fraudulent email addresses.
For instance we received one that came in as follows – Dirk Nohre firstname.lastname@example.org
At first glance it looks like Dirk sent the email, but upon further inspection it is clearly aimed at fraud because this is not his email address.
From 2014 to mid-year 2015 over $1billion has been lost per the US Secret Service.
Do not fall victim to these types of scams…always get positive confirmation from the sender.
That is calling the executive and confirming their request, in handwriting if possible. If they are out of town call them directly.
Most banking institutions have infinite amounts of information how to assist you with strong(er) treasury controls for your organizations to protect company assets!
Other versions of these kinds of scams may have malware installed in the system via an employee clicking on a compromised website like that is emailed to them (this is called phishing), which can lock your system and hold your organization hostage.
When in doubt…do not click! Stay vigilant!
Strong IT controls should also be put in place with firewalls and software that is looking for these kinds of fraudulent websites. There are many methods but those who have authority with any monetary transactions in an organization should be on guard all of the time!
It appears that Operation Homeless has returned to the Eau Claire area. Operation Homeless is nationwide check fraud ring involving hundreds of individuals. The basic operation is:
- Outgoing mail is stolen from local businesses.
- Account numbers are taken from legitimate checks and used for the creation of counterfeit checks.
- Homeless men/women recruited by the check-makers are sent in to the financial named on the original check. Those individuals present counterfeit checks to cash.
- The check cashers use their own ID’s and usually have a rehearsed story on why they are cashing the check.
- Multiple individuals will present checks on the same day.
- Check-makers are usually waiting nearby but out of range of surveillance cameras.
Financials should be cautious of non-customers presenting checks to cash, especially if arriving on foot or being dropped off some distance away. Please verify such checks with your customers before approving the transaction!
If you suspect an individual is attempting to cash a counterfeit check, notify your local law enforcement agency immediately.
Detective Kevin Farley
Financial Crimes Unit
Eau Claire Police Department