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A Fake Email Scam Led To Scoular Losing More Than $17.2 Million
The case is about an online scam that happened to be through a fake email delivered by scammers who managed to pull out $17.2 million. It was reported that the company might recover some of the stolen funds.
Scoular is a grain trading and handling firm in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. It was founded in 1892 and provides agribusiness supply chains comprising grains, food ingredients, animal feed ingredients, and pet food ingredients internationally. One thousand employees operate 100 offices.
The case is about an online scam that happened to be through a fake email delivered by scammers who managed to pull out $17.2 million. It was reported that the company might recover some of the stolen funds. Still, the company had $6 billion upcoming in annual revenues and was able to consume the loss that occurred. And as for the measurements taken after the trouble, Scoular made the internal system and controlled it stricter and more vigilant. This email scam could have been avoided by simple cautiousness and attentiveness. This scam could have been drastic and damaging because the scammers could manage the faking.
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Table of Contents
What is an Email Scam?
In simple words, a fake or fraud email sent by scammers to take their money is an email scam. It is a deception scheme designed to steal the personal data of someone, including specific numbers, credit card details and logins, passwords, and account data. Now some of them might have errors and grammatical mistakes, which are intentional to check people if they can be scammed easily, and likewise ask you to login or click into certain links for verification or activation, etc. If an email is sent from a large bank account, then they doubtlessly have thousands of people working in the communication department, and they would ever send an official email with such grammatical errors and bad writing.
They tend to send it from trusted renowned websites and applications that you may think are reliable using official-looking logos from real organizations and information taken from legitimate websites. They incorporate actual links and URLs to make it look more official and gain trust. There are a lot of emails using baiting tactics, and one needs to know how to protect themselves from such frauds and scams. They would send emails of certain purchases you have not made and ask you to click or login to verify, check for the wrong terminology used, lousy grammar, and lack of any branding. There is most probably no indication of authenticity. They often send emails with job offers to pretend to be professional and propose a promising career or a job or a fantastic purchase offers like;
- ‘Your bid on eBay has won!’
- ‘The books on your Amazon wish list are on sale!’
- ‘You have won a lucky draw!’
- ‘New updates available!’
The Origin of This Beast of a Company
A Scottish immigrant George Scoular founded the Scoular grain and lumber company in Superior, Nebraska, in 1892. George’s son Bob joined the family business in 1927, often traveling rural Nebraska in his Model T Ford for a mere five dollars per day. Bob Scoular was on the floor of Omaha Grain Exchange, centralized cash and future marketplace established to promote fair trade. Just 130 miles away in St. Joseph, Missouri, a young man began his career with the grain business. In 1967, a tall, lean and imaginative Kansan named Marshal Faith bought the company from the Scoular family. Faith began to assemble a team of tough, sharp, free-wheeling, and talented young execs.
A decade later, one particular team member, Neal Harlan, became Scoular’s future president. Known for their unusual, exciting, and productive tactics, Scoular’s young executives were later referred to as “The Young Turks of Nebraska Grain.” Scoular began a search for small country elevators, and it has grown to be the fourth-largest grain storage company in the US with 72-grain elevators in 8 states. Scoular’s management team created an automated and innovative accounting system to provide cost advantage and manage information. The Us government passed a comprehensive farm bill, ending an era of government-sub-sized grain storage programs. Scoular diversified from grain warehousing to trading and distributing a broader range of agricultural products. It was also diversified geographically, expanding its reach into new markets and opening new offices throughout North America.
If you’ve been a victim of an online scam and gave out your account information to scammers, then consult with us to help you get your account data and stolen money!
The Agricultural Company Was Left with a Dent Worth $17.2 Million!
Railroads adopted “big train technology” to improve efficiency. Scoular responded by investing in a strategic network of shuttle and non-shuttle facilities from 1997 to 2007. In 1998, Scoular acquired International Proteins Corporation and further diversified its portfolio to serve customers in the food, pet food, and aquaculture markets. Scoular began loading grains and food ingredients into containers for Asian customers like the US demand for manufactured goods from China.
After 115 years, the Scoular people remained focused on the journey in the business of agriculture. The collision of energy and agriculture placed Scoular during a remarkable transformation in the agricultural industry. Now we will come to the significant organic food fraud which happened through an email. The email showed up to be from the CEO of Scoular, Chuck Elsea, and its auditing firm. The imposters sent emails set up in different countries, namely; France, Israel, and the servers were connected in Moscow. This fraud took out $17.2million from this agricultural company.
Never Trust Offshore Bank Accounts…
You might be curious how this fraud happened; according to the report, the scam took place on Wednesday. Scoular sent this money through 3 different transfers in China to an offshore bank account. These emails were mentioned as top secrets for some purposes, and authentic email and contacts were mentioned. This contact and email copied Mr. Elsea. This company is ranked 66 on the US’s largest private companies, and it was ultimately a surprise to see it fall prey to such scammers. Social media is so powerful nowadays that criminals use a variety of tactics to steal money from people. Mr. McMurtry trusted these spam emails because the idea of expanding Scoular into China was already being looked forward to.
So basically, the email was sent by imposters faking to be Mr. Elsea directs him to keep this email strictly confidential and tells him to contact through email for communication solely. The same day, he received another email stating to transfer immediate funds through wire urgently while the email was linked to a server in Moscow and the phone number was from a Skype account located in Israel. However, the money wired to the email belonged to Dadi- a company that manufactured boots in Shanghai. The orders were given to seize the funds transferred to the legitimate Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, but it was later revealed that the bank account was closed right after the funding. The leader of KPMG’s international tax services, Mr. Lawrence, mentioned that he had never heard of Scoular, but his name was listed in the spam email from the thieves.
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Authenticity Departments Were Tricked with a Fake Phone Call
The fraudsters thoroughly ensured that the scam would work out by making it a top-secret, basically showing to take this step to avoid SEC. Moreover, a man faked to be McMurtry when a rechecking phone call was made to ensure the security and authenticity of the email. It is also said that the fraudsters already knew about the expansion in China and planned this scam scheme accordingly. However, it is still not known where these stalkers were from and where did the amount of $17 million go to. Charles Tendell, CEO at Denver-based Azorian Cyber Security, stated: “Make sure employees are empowered to respectfully challenge requests, rather than being in fear of refusing an executive demand,” according to the fact that this fraud could have been dodged by using simple common sense. The controller who lost the money was also fired.
How To Avoid Such Scams?
These scammers always have the best-planned ways to take your money. Cybercriminals are tricky and very cunningly ask for your personal information about banking details mainly so that they can take your money. They ask you to press certain links or confirm your accounts or knowledge, making you think of its authenticity and unconsciously log in to the servers or websites provided. Never press the spooky or slightly fishy emails and links that direct you to send money.
Chargebacking To The Rescue
Our company came into existence when the owner was scammed personally and managed to get his money back. The whole idea of this company is to get people their money, funds, investments before they get scammed in numerous online ways. It is nearly impossible for people to avoid the exchange of money in this era, yet being a victim of such thefts is also a part of it. We make sure the people who seek our help in such cases get their funds back from such online frauds and money scams. And when it comes to online email scams, then fraudsters know no boundaries, and it is sometimes hard to crack them down, but it is not impossible to catch them under our surveillance.
Where is Scoular Now?
Scoular was founded in 1892 and gained success over time and through all the complex works and efforts made by the owners. This company faced an online email scam in the name of the CEO and made the controller transfer $17.2 million by wiring this money. And the scammers sent three different emails making sure that the scheme remains intact and private by dictating the controller not to tell anybody about this transfer due to security issues and keep this whole arrangement secret; otherwise, the SEC might interrupt. These emails were sent from the scammers who pretended to be the CEO of Scoular by using a verified email and contact number and ordered to transfer the money secretly to Dadi company in Shanghai. This email was believed because Scoular was already working on expanding their business in China, so this proposal of sending funds in secret was of no suspicion. However, the controller who wired this $17.2 million was kicked out, and the orders were given to seize the bank where this money was transferred, but the news came in that the bank account was shut down right after the money was funded. It was thought that the thieves might get caught in the future, but there was no clue of them, although Scoular absorbed the loss within the revenue of the following year and yet sent another email of an online scam.
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