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Police are reminding residents to remain vigilant against scammers' increasingly sophisticated and subtle attempts to defraud.

One business is out $1,500 after an employee received an email from what appeared to be their manager. The scammer assumed the role of a supervisor and asked the employee to purchase $1,500 in Amazon gift cards as gifts for staff. The cards were purchased and an image of the back of the cards was sent back to the "manager".

However, when a second email was sent requesting another $1,000 in gift cards the employee contacted their supervisor directly, only to realize the email had been sent from a slightly different address. Police say the victim was reimbursed for their loss.

However, it remains a reminder to double check email addresses before sending confidential information police say. When in doubt, call the sender directly.

SolutionsIT's Wes Ens notes they've seen hackers commonly pose as superiors in an organization and use socially engineered threats for financial gain or data acquisition, adding hacking campaigns are often deployed in mass volume. Ens notes online security breaches often have costly consequences in terms of both financial and productivity loss.

A local commercial IT Director who requested to remain anonymous says the Pembina Valley region seems to have been especially targeted by ransomware, malware and virus attacks.

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