New Email Scam Hits Tri-Cities, Demands Payment for ‘Delinquent Account’
Kennewick police say a new email scam making it's way across the nation has arrived here. It involves emails that are doctored to look like they come from an 'official' company. The email comes from "Accounts Payable" and demands money.
Spoofing is a term used for scammers who are able to hack an email address, then use it for scamming purposes. They often hack addresses of companies from their accounts payable or billing departments.
Then, the emails are sent to unsuspecting consumers. The email appears it came from a legitimate business demanding payment, but police say if you respond, you're actually 'talking' with the scammer. To make it look more 'official' police say they often use email accounts hacked from corporate executives that are more believable.
Once the money is sent, usually requested by wire or direct bank transfer, and the transaction is completed, the money is lost. The fraudster will often shut down the fraudulent email and further inquiries by the victim will be returned as undeliverable.
Police stress that if you receive any sort of email requesting payment, and it appears suspicious, call the company in person to confirm if they are actually requesting payment of a bill. They also say these days it's important to carefully track all bills and expenditures. That way, if you do receive requests for money, you can compare to your records and help determine if it's fraud.