City of Richmond warns of scam demanding payment by wire service

The City of Richmond is warning of an increase in scams and phishing emails – likely due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Businesses in the city have reportedly received scam emails requesting they make wire payments using new banking information supplied in the email, according to city spokesperson Clay Adams. (See an example of a fraudulent email in the photo gallery at the top of this story.)

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The city, he said, will never request wire payment through email. The City of Richmond is reaching out to those it does business with, as well as the community through social media, to reassure them of this.

The city has reported the scam to RCMP, said Adams.

It’s likely that the scams and phishing emails are trying to take advantage of the vulnerable during the pandemic, said Adams.

“People should ignore any requests from the City of Richmond demanding payment by wire with new banking information, even if they appear to be signed off by city staff under a replicated version of the city’s letterhead,” said Adams.

If people are concerned about the legitimacy of letters or emails they have received from the city, he said, they should contact Richmond City Hall at 604-276-4000 or by email at infocentre@richmond.ca

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