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OPP Says Fraudsters Are Targeting Sports Associations And Clubs

The OPP says there’s been an increase in people victimized by scammers who are posing as sports associations or clubs.

They say the fraudsters pose as a senior executive or president within the organization by imitating their email address. Like with many other scams, they use realistic-looking emails to attempt to trick the club’s treasurer to sending an e-transfer to a third party. They say the email will make it sound like it’s urgent. “For example, they may say the money is needed to pay an overdue invoice or equipment rentals,” the OPP says.

The force says this scam has cost various associations and clubs tens of thousands of dollars. They claim “CEO scams” are a growing trend that usually targets small business, clubs and even large corporations.

Catherine Yarmel of Killaloe OPP has said that the detachment has not gotten any calls of this type yet, however the risk is on the rise in Eastern Ontario. She says to verify the sender’s email address. The fake email addresses will usually be one or two letters off from the real one, so double-checking spelling could end up saving you thousands. She says to also contact the association or club to confirm the email is legitimate and limit the details you share publicly. Verfiying what you’re clicking before you click it is the key point, Yarmel says.

If you work with an association or club, the OPP suggest that you should encourage the higher-ups with your association or club to create a standard for how money transfers are handled. The plan should require multiple levels of approvals and confirmations.

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