Hunters and hunting operators around the world should be on alert for another email scam that redirects wired hunt deposits. Thieves have managed to hack the email accounts of various operators then monitor their incoming and outgoing emails, studying the contents and stealing email addresses. When they see correspondence regarding deposits to be wired they send hunting clients a “follow-up” email asking them to disregard previous instructions and send the funds to a different account.
The scam is convincing to hunters because the criminals know when their hunts are booked, when payments are being sent, and the request comes from an email address almost identical to their outfitters’, only dropping or adding a letter or a number to the address. Most people simply don’t look at the email address closely enough before replying or taking action. And because they are monitoring emails, the thieves could use similar phrases as the operator does and sign off with their nick name. Operators throughout Africa have been hit by this fraud, but it is not limited to Africa. The scam has hit other industries as well.
Should you receive an email from your hunting operator changing the instructions, address, bank details or other information on how and where to make your deposit, do not respond. Call your operator as soon as possible to verify the information. Then contact your local FBI office or other law enforcement to file a report.
Never click on a link in an email that you receive from a questionable source. Cryptic and very generalized emails that don’t make much sense should be deleted immediately. Then empty the trash folder on your computer. Be wary of any attachments, links, or emails claiming an account is being suspended until you verify certain information. Always double check the email address on any email requesting information from you, and don’t call the phone number listed on the email itself. Look up the number in your own records or go to the operator’s website. Thanks to John Barth of Adventure Unlimited, for sharing this warning after hearing from several targeted African operators. – Barbara Crown, Editor-in-Chief- The Hunt Report.