Calgary party planners recover $70K from fraudsters over Iggy Azalea booking
Founders of an upcoming music and fashion show thought they were out $70,000 in an e-mail hacking scam while trying to book rap artist Iggy Azalea, but the organizers have managed to get their money back.
The creators of UNKNOWN Calgary sent numerous e-mails to Creative Artists Agency, a Los Angeles based talent booking agency.
Alarms bells went off when they were asked to send money to a bank in the Netherlands and they soon realized their correspondence was now addressed to an e-mail with a few letters switched out.
"I feel like I'm somebody who will never get scammed, I don't pick up weird phone calls, or answer emails saying I won a prize. I'm pretty cautious," said co-founder Stan Rector, "but to think your e-mail can get hacked half way through the conversation."
He sent the fraudulent e-mail and banking information to the Dutch bank which reversed the transfer on Wednesday.
Cyber security experts say it's far more common for victims of e-mail scams and cybercrime to never see their money after it's been sent to a scam artist.
"These young entrepreneurs did an amazing job in being astute to the red flags in taking the appropriate and right steps to get their money back," said Kelly Sundberg of Mount Royal University. "It's amazing."
Now the event organizers are warning others about their experience.
"Make sure that you check all the time with the talent agency or anyone from the company. You call the accountant, you call whoever you can call before you do those kind of transfers," said Eduard Soponar, co-founder of UNKNOWN Calgary.
In subsequent e-mails to the correct address for CAA staff, it says their internal security team is looking into the incident.
Artist Iggy Azalea is no longer available to perform at the event and show organizers are looking to book another headliner in time for the September 21 show at the Big Four.