Canadian Anti-fraud Centre and U.S. Secret Service freeze fraudulent transfer

February 21, 2024
Ottawa, Ontario

News release

On February 2, 2024, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) and the United States Secret Service (U.S. Secret Service), along with a financial institution froze a $615,820 CAD fraudulent transfer. Since 2021, the U.S. Secret Service assisted the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre in returning more than $3 million CAD to U.S. and Canadian citizens.

The victim’s funds were frozen after a Canadian business reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre that it was a victim of spear phishing fraud. As a result of the timely reporting, the business is well positioned to recover its funds.

Spear phishing fraud is one of the most prevalent frauds targeting businesses and organizations. In 2023, Canadian businesses reported losing more than $58 million to spear phishing fraud.

In these frauds, perpetrators take their time to collect information on their intended targets, so they can send convincing emails from a seemingly trusted source. Fraudsters will infiltrate or spoof a business or individual’s email account and create a rule to send copies of incoming emails to one of their own accounts. They will comb through the emails to study the sender’s use of language and to look for patterns linked to important contacts, payments and dates.

Fraudsters launch their attack when an accounts payable invoice has been identified. It might look like a supplier or contractor sending an email to the customer’s (victim) accounts payable department requesting an urgent payment to an alternate bank account for an invoice that is due. Fraudsters might set up a domain similar to the company’s and make it appear as though the email is originating from a trusted source.

How to protect your business

Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of cybercrime or fraud should report it to their local police and to the CAFC’s online reporting system, or by phone at 1-888-495-8501. If you were not a victim but were the target of a fraud attempt, report it to the CAFC anyway.

Associated links


Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

Date modified: