CWG Insight Series: Financial Fraud Awareness

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This month’s article is meant to raise awareness around the ever-growing problem of financial fraud schemes.  I’m hoping by sharing with you, you’ll be more cognizant and prepared if this happens to you.  

Recently we received an email from a client that they had found a new car, were going to put some cash down and finance the rest.  The email was written in the same tone this client would normally use, the car is one I could see the client driving and there were other details specific to this client’s financial situation.  The client indicated they would need cash from their investment account transferred to the dealer for the down payment.  We discussed which account was best to draw from and were prepared to send the money.  The client then emailed over the wiring instructions for the deposit.  

As we were preparing the wire, the information seemed a bit off.  I left a message with the client to let them know a wire would not go through like this and to confirm.  The next day I received a call back from the client asking me about wiring instructions I sent them.  What the heck is going on here?  

It turns out someone hacked my client’s email account and was emailing back and forth with me.  They read enough of the client’s prior emails to know what to say and how to say it.  They were attempting to get me to wire them money.  My client never saw any of these emails as the fraudster was intercepting and responding to them before the client could see them.  When I said I couldn’t send the money, they took it a step further.  They created a fake email account to look similar to mine and emailed my client, as me.  

Fortunately, as standard practice, the client and I spoke on the phone before any money was moved to any sort of new account.  The client secured their email address and updated passwords across all platforms.  As a practice of caution, if you request we move money out of your investment accounts, to a new outside account - someone on the Crown team will be calling you to verbally confirm.  If you get an email from an account that looks similar to one of ours, requesting you move money to a new outside account - call someone on the Crown team to confirm.  

These scammers are getting very good at what they do, so we all need to practice extra caution and be on high alert.  

Nick Kolbenschlag

Chief Executive Office & Co-Founder