Calgary, AB,

Fraudulent purchase orders from University affecting businesses

The Calgary Police Service is warning businesses about fraudulent orders that are being placed around the city by people claiming to be from the University of Calgary.

On Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, a business in the community of Alyth-Bonnybrook received an email from an address that appeared to be a University of Calgary email address. The email was an order for over $13,000 of power tools and included a fake University of Calgary purchase order. Since nothing appeared out of the ordinary, the business delivered the tools to a warehouse where a receptionist signed for the delivery.

When another order was made for the same tools a day after the delivery, the business called the University to confirm that the second order was not a mistake and learned that the University had not placed either of the orders. When police went to the warehouse where the first order was delivered, it was empty and had been rented fraudulently.

Investigators have since learned of two other businesses that received the same fraudulent emails and delivered products to a warehouse they thought was affiliated with the University. In total, $46,000 worth of merchandise has been taken through this scam.

The Calgary Police Service is warning businesses to always confirm online orders by contacting the customer directly through an phone number or email that is known to be legitimate. When responding to email orders from companies or institutions, look for any unusual attributes after the “@” sign. If it does not match other email addresses from that organization, then questions should be asked.

The investigation into these frauds is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact police by calling the non-emergency line at 403-266-1234. Tips can also be left anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers using any of the following methods:

TALK: 1-800-222-8477

Case # 19041960/4067