EXTORTION SCAMS

OVERVIEW

Extortion scams refer to any person who unlawfully obtains money, property or services from a person, entity or institution through coercion. Scammers come up with new reasons why you urgently need to pay them money.

HOSTAGE SCAM

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is receiving reports from Canadian companies who are being scammed. The companies receive emails followed up with phone communication from suspects misrepresenting themselves/impersonating legitimate organizations, such as "National Defence" or the "Minister of Public Safety". The communication is an attempt to obtain ransom for employees through hostage-taking scams or proprietary information. While the ransom demand is real, the actual hostage-taking is fake.

The emails are using generic domains, such as minister.com. They are well-constructed to appear to come from the Canadian Government or a person/company that may be known to the recipient. The suspects are targeting various levels within the company and often try to reach key executives to further the ransom demand.

The Little Black Book of Scams 2nd edition - Competition Bureau Canada

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