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Lucky catch: Two northern companies hit by 'spear phishing' recoup $950K

Ontario Provincial Police in Temiskaming Shores managed to recover stolen funds after massive fraud investigation; 'Don't get reeled in — if it seems 'phishy' don't bite!'
Ontario Provincial Police.

Too bad every fraud case doesn't end like this. 

Two northern Ontario companies have been reimbursed a combined $950,000 — cash they lost in an elaborate scam, according to the Ontario Provincial Police in Temiskaming Shores.

The OPP press release does not identify the two corporations that got their money back, but police say the fraud investigation began after two local companies claimed in February 2022 that they were victimized by a "spear phishing" scam. 

Spear phishing is a targeted attack on one person or a close group of individuals with intent to defraud, as opposed to a general attempt to scam the public.

"Further investigation with the assistance of the OPP's Northeast Provincial Asset Forfeiture Unit (PAFU) and the Timmins Police Service resulted in multiple warrants being executed," said the OPP news release.

As a result of the investigation, police say more than $950,000.00 was returned to the two corporations on May 16.

"The Temiskaming OPP want to remind businesses to keep an eye out for the warning signs of a spear phishing scam like strange emails or links, as well as requests that are odd or of unusual urgency," the release says. "Limiting how much information you share publicly on your social media profiles, being cautious if something seems off and regularly updating your software and security systems can help keep you safe from spear phishing."

"Remember," the release continues, "don't get reeled in — if it seems "phishy" don't bite!"