I have learned from two clients recently that they were victims of a very sophisticated scam, both involving six figure losses.
Both clients received authentic looking emails from what looked like established vendors, complete with logos and individual names. The emails indicated that the vendors had decided to use ACH (Automatic Clearing House) transfers instead of checks to be paid by the clients. Imposters (using real names) responded to the clients’ emails, and confirmed the new policy.
Funds sent to the imposters’ bank accounts are probably not recoverable, unlike when you stop payment on a check.
Looking back, there are two strategies that might have prevented these losses.
1. Examine the email address carefully. In both cases, the fake email was a slight variation from the real email address. For example, the real address might be:
But the fake address might be:
(Can you detect the differences?)
2. Pick up the phone. In the example above, you can call Midwest Implement and confirm with Harry that they want to use an ACH to transfer funds.