Michigan’s marijuana regulatory agency is warning local cannabis companies that fraudsters are masquerading as regulators and industry executives in a bid to trick employees into sending money or security information about their businesses.
One business lost more than $100,000 because of the scam, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) noted in a bulletin.
In that case, an individual impersonating a business owner requested the employee to transfer the funds to an associate, according to the bulletin.
Law360 first reported the news.
According to the MRA, several businesses have reported receiving such calls, but it is unclear if any others suffered losses or released sensitive information because of the scam.
The scammers pretended to be business owners or managers and contacted assistant mangers or other employees about an upcoming inspection and requested photos of the alarm system, fire alarms, marijuana products, tracking numbers and exit doors.
According to the MRA’s bulletin, “in each call or text, the suspect disclosed business owners’ names or managers’ names and relayed pertinent information about the business, thus gaining the trust of the employees.”
The MRA advised businesses to make sure they verify the identity of callers before releasing funds or important company information.
The agency also said businesses can verify the legitimacy of MRA staff by requesting credentials or writing to MRAfirstname.lastname@example.org.