Kennewick Police warn of e-mail scammers asking for payment - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick Police warn of e-mail scammers asking for payment

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KENNEWICK, WA - Kennewick Police are warning about a scam that has reached the Tri-Cities.

Police say the scammer hacks email accounts. It involves the Accounts Payable or someone within a business receiving an e-mail request to issue a check to a business or individual that appears to have been sent by the owner or executive of the business.

The e-mail requesting the money transfer appears to be real and appears to be the actual e-mail address of the person sending the e-mail.

In fact, the e-mail address is being "spoofed". Similar to a phone number, scammers can hack into an e-mail address and make it seem as if they are the owner of the address.

If the person receiving the e-mail replies to the message, they are communicating with the fraudster, not the real person associated with the e-mail.

The scammer then communicates with the victims and further explains the payment requested.

If the victim writes or transfers the money requested and the transaction is complete, that money is lost.

Police say in most businesses these types of requests are not normal policy, but since the e-mail appears to come from an executive, the victim will fall for the scam.

Officers recommends that any type of unusual request for payments be verified through phone or in person contact in order to avoid this fraud.