Secret Service warns Louisville, southern Indiana about email sc - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Secret Service warns Louisville, southern Indiana about email scam

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CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WDRB) -- The Secret Service is warning residents and businesses in Kentuckiana about an email scam. Altogether, in the last week, the scammers have collected upwards of $200,000 to $300,000 from four to five victims.

Scammers are getting sneakier and they've gotten the attention of the U.S. Secret Service.

"We felt it necessary to get the word out and ask people to be careful," said Acting Special Agent Craig Hutzell, of the Louisville Field Office. He says email scams happen daily across the country. Recently, there has been an uptick in Kentuckiana and the scammers have been doing their research.

"They will get on company websites, they will research names for business managers, or executives from that corporation," Hutzell explained.

The scammers will send an email from a familiar email address. But, they will change or add a letter or character. It is a subtle difference some people do not pick up on.

"As a result, the individual sees that it's from Jim, the VP of finance, launches the wire, basically just satisfying the boss, thinking they're doing the right thing," said Hutzell.

The advice: Double-check the email address and talk to the person whose name is represented in the email.

"Do your due diligence within the company, pick up the phone and make sure that request did indeed come from him or her," Hutzell advised.

The scammers so far have targeted healthcare facilities, realtors, parents of college students and so-called lonely hearts. "You may have a widow, or widower that's simply looking for attention...given a sob story, and they believe that they are helping someone," Hutzell explained.

Secret Service officials will not reveal any businesses involved, but say a local BB&T was able to stop a $130,000 transaction from going through. Hutzell held the press conference at the Clark County Sheriff's Department, but said the crimes have happened on both sides of the river. Hutzell would not expand on the areas affected.

The Secret Service is aware of at least one scammer who may not even be in the U.S. The investigation will likely take months.

More: Data Breach…So now what?

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