TMH in Craig avoids scam
September 10, 2015
Thanks to a vigilant employee, The Memorial Hospital has avoided being scammed out of more than $28,000.
According to Craig Police Department's Sgt. John Forgay, the scammer impersonated the hospital's CEO John Rossfeld by using a fake email address meant to look like it came from the CEO.
"It appeared to be coming from the CEO of the hospital but there was just a slight discrepancy in the email address," he said.
In the email, the imposter CEO ordered a money transfer for $28,300 to the personal account of a "Paula Cook" at a bank in Ohio.
Jennifer Riley, THM's chief of marketing and business development, said the email looked extremely convincing, but the controller who received it was suspicious from the start.
"She was all over it," Riley said.
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When asked for an invoice, the scammer tried to create a false sense of urgency by replying that the hospital was 30 days behind on a payment to a vendor.
At this point, Riley instructed the controller to compose a new email to Rossfeld, who was out of town, rather than replying to the original email.
When they started to type Rossfeld's email address in the address field, two email addresses popped up — one was slightly different.
"The second one had a misspelling," she said.
TMH notified CPD of the attempted scam and it is currently being investigated.
In August, a 63-year-old woman from Washington was arrested and brought to Routt County to face charges of allegedly defrauding a Steamboat Springs consulting company out of more than $157,000 in a similar scam.
To avoid falling victim to this type fraud, CPD urges business to "maintain interoffice communications when it comes to high dollar money transfers, especially those that may seem suspicious and specifically to personal accounts as opposed to business accounts. Double check all the information and if necessary, when a bank is named, find it on the Internet and call to confirm the account information."