N.S. RCMP warn of recent spear phishing attacks in Nova Scotia

RCMP badge. (Police photo)

DARTMOUTH: The Nova Scotia RCMP’s Commercial Crime Section and Cybercrime Unit are warning the public of recent instances of scammers targeting retail businesses using sophisticated spear phishing techniques. 

Scammers contact an employee via text message from an unfamiliar number, pretending to be the owner or manager. They will say they had to change their phone number because they lost or damaged their cell phone. 

The scammers often have significant knowledge of the business, including names or upcoming transactions, and will engage in casual conversation to trick the employee into believing they are speaking directly with the owner or manager. 

The scammers will then request the employee to send money via cryptocurrency to quickly cover an urgent business cost. 


The Nova Scotia RCMP encourages businesses to review their processes for dealing with emergency expenditures and discuss with employees the warning signs of spear phishing attempts, including:

A sudden change in the cell phone number of a manager or owner.

Unsolicited communication through text message only.

Urgency from a sudden business situation, and high-pressure tactics to quickly resolve the matter.

Requests for money to be deposited into a Bitcoin ATM.

Use of QR Codes for payment addresses.

If you, or someone you know, is a victim of this scam or any other type of fraud, report it to your local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

For more information, visit: https://antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm