International E-Mail scam hits local business for 12 thousand do - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

International E-Mail scam hits local business for 12 thousand dollars

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KENNEWICK, WA. -- An international email scam took thousands of dollars from a local business here in the Tri-Cities. Now police are warning people to keep an eye out because it could try to steal from you next.

It starts off looking like a normal e-mail coming from your boss or one of the executives of your company, except it's not a normal e-mail. The person behind the message doesn't work in the company at all, they're a scammer. 

In the e-mail, they ask the accounting department to either Fed-Ex a check or direct wire thousands of dollars into an account for an expense. If the person who received the e-mail responds back, it goes directly to the scammer. 

A local business in the Tri-Cities got fooled by this scam into sending $12,000 to an unknown account. A couple days later, the scammers tried to get them to send more money and that's when the employee made a phone call to their boss and discovered their mistake. 

Police say it's important for all of our local businesses to keep an eye out for any suspicious e-mails. 

"The most important thing is to questions stuff," Mike Blatman from the Kennewick Police Department said. "And that's where the scam comes in because a person might necessarily think, 'Do I really want to question the CEO of our company asking for this payment?' But if it looks suspicious, it doesn't follow their normal procedures for payments and things of that nature. It's OK to ask those questions."

Police say if there's ever a question about a suspicious payment request, go ask someone in person or make a phone call because once that money is gone, there's no getting it back.