Do You Really Trust An Email Requesting a Money Transaction?
Scam Squad would like to give a warning reminder of a scam that has taken place once our winter visitors leave Green Valley for their summer homes. HOAs are sometimes left with only a few residents and a few board members. Scammers have taken advantage of this because they know that presidents of boards who authorizes expenditure of money are often gone ,and members who remain here don’t often communicate with their presidents while they are gone. Scammers somehow find out that the president is traveling or is out of the country and cannot be contacted.
Here is what we have seen happen. The board’s secretary or treasurer receives an email from their president requesting that a large sum of money be deposited to an account or sent as payment for something that should have been taken care of earlier.
The email has the president’s name and the explanation for what the money is for sounds reasonable. In some cases, the secretary or treasurer has not questioned the request and does not verify with the president if he or she sent the email. The money is withdrawn and deposited or paid to whomever the email requested and it’s not until much later that it’s discovered that the president did not send the email request.
Scam Squad has received calls in the summer regarding this concern. We suggest that rules be set up by each HOA that money transactions while board members are away, be verified with a call to the real president to verify if the request was made by him or her. A simple call may save the HOA money that will otherwise go to a scammer if unverified.
This kind of scam does not just happen to HOAs, it can happen to club organizations and businesses. The scammers are hoping that you act fast and send the money as soon as possible without delay. That should be the red flag --- “as soon as possible”.
If you have any questions about this or any other suspicious email or phone call that is requesting money or payment for something that sounds real, but you want to verify it, call the Scam Squad at 520-351-6715. We will do the research and call the phone numbers to verify for you whether it’s legitimate or not.