ERCA Victim of $292,000 Fraud


The Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) has fell victim to an online fraud scheme. 

ERCA says in July, two transactions were made to falsified bank accounts as a result of a complex phishing email to ERCA staff by a fraudster who was posing as an employee. 

An electronic transfer of more than $61,000 was processed on July 14 and there was a second e-transfer of more than $230,000 on July 27.  

ERCA Board Chair Kieran McKenzie says police have been notified.

"The OPP is investigating," says McKenzie.  "There is an internal investigation that is underway as well as our bank and the insurance company have all been notified.  We are confident that this scam was external to the authority and that no one directly involved with ERCA has any malicious involvement or criminal involvement in this matter."

ERCA has since implemented added internal controls to prevent any future occurrences.

No funds from donors to the Essex Region Conservation Foundation have been impacted. 

In 2019 alone, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) received 46,465 reports of fraud from consumers and business last year, affecting businesses in various sectors.

- with files from AM800's Rob Hindi