We need to alert you as business owners of a new scam. PLEASE speak with ALL your employees and make sure they know not to give any personal information to people calling in on the phone, answer any personal questions about the owners or respond to random emails requesting information. This scam focuses on getting names of owners, managers, financial information, employees shifts, personal addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, etc.
Once the Scammers know your info, they call back and request for large sums of money to be deposited and converted to Bitcoin. This is scam that is being seen throughout the county and now it has cost a client, thousands of dollars.
Scammers are hoping that your employees will be loyal and vulnerable. This is how they approach your employees:
1. The scammers probe the business by calling the business multiple times. In one business, they called up to 20 times in one day. The scammers will pretend to be friends of the business mangers or owners and need info like personal cell numbers and full names.
2. Once the scammers get enough information, they will then start calling in telling employees that the business is in trouble. Once caller identified themselves as the Health Department saying the business will be fined 4K unless a deposit is made. Another caller said they were personal friends of the owner, who had given permission to have the employee take a certain amount of money from the business and deposit it at a check cashing location into a bitcoin account. Usually, the premise is that money is needed urgently.
Scammers need only to speak to the one employee who will panic and comply with what the scammers are telling them to do. Once the money gets deposited into the bitcoin account it is almost impossible to recover.
We know many of you are reading this and will say that this is ridiculous, and this could never happen to you or any of your employees. However, it is happening all over the County, and we want to help you avoid being a victim. The Sheriff’s Deputies who came out to investigate our client’s case shared that there are currently 4 other cases similar to this one that they are investigating. Amounts of theft by false pretense now range from $2,800 to $14,000.
Please, take the time to have a meeting with your employees and reinforce that they should not engage with callers phishing for information and to never give personal information out. As a reminder, government agencies or any other reputable company seeking payment is not going to ever ask an employee to take money from the business and deposit into an account at a check cashing business to be converted to Bitcoin. If we stay vigilant, this scam will not affect you or your business.