Employees at some businesses in Ottawa, particularly those who are in administrative positions, have been receiving email messages that appear to come from the CEO of their company.
The emails are asking the employee to purchase prepaid gift cards and to forward the number on the cards back to the supposed CEO. The employee later finds out that it was not the CEO who has sent the email and that there is no balance remaining on the card.
Upon closer examination of the original email, it is found not to have come from the CEOs email but from a very similar address that may only differ by one or two letters or by a slightly different domain name.
The numbers off of the prepaid cards are then sold on the web and usually spent within minutes in foreign countries.
Businesses are encouraged to maintain strict protocols for ordering and authorizing financial transactions by email.