Appalachian State University fell victim to a wire fraud scheme which led to the university losing more than $1.9M.
Rodgers Builders was awarded the construction contract for the university’s Health Science Building. A few months later, a university employee received an email with instructions to change the contractor’s direct deposit information for the company. This email was sent by a person claiming to be the Finance Technician for Rodgers Builders.
The California man was not successful covering his tracks. Thanks to the university’s staff and the diligence of the law enforcement, they expect to recover $1.5M of the stolen money.
Prevent This From Happening to YOU!
Fraudulent requests for wire transfers and account changes typically come by email!
Tips to help you stop potentially fraudulent requests via email:
- Verbal Confirmation – be sure to verbally confirm any requests that come in via email. When confirming by telephone, use a previously established contact number.
- Verify Changes – if you receive new wire instructions or a change to existing instructions, be sure to verify with your wire transfer vendor.
- Investigate Unique Requests – If you receive a request for payment that is out of the ordinary or over a certain amount, confirm via phone with the vendor by way of a previously established phone number.
- Confirm Email Address – Scammers are very good at modifying email addresses to resemble the original one. Pay close attention. Rather than hitting “Reply” to an email request for a wire or other payment, do your own typing – respond to the request by way of an original email to a previously verified email address.
- Separation of duties – assign an employee to be responsible for checks and balances of another individual’s work.
One of the best defenses against wire fraud are internal procedures and training team members to recognize the signs of suspicious activity.
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