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Creative Saskatchewan scammed out of more than $330K in August 2023

Creative Saskatchewan,the agency responsible for creative industries in the province,  was defrauded out of $331,568 last August. (CBC - image credit)
Creative Saskatchewan,the agency responsible for creative industries in the province, was defrauded out of $331,568 last August. (CBC - image credit)

Creative Saskatchewan, the agency responsible for creative industries in the province, was swindled out of $331,568 last August.

The fraudulent activity was outlined in a Government of Saskatchewan report of public losses for ministries and Crown corporations released Monday. The report said banking information was fraudulently changed by someone impersonating a client, and that led to funds being redirected to an inappropriate bank account.

Creative Saskatchewan didn't provide any information on which client was being impersonated. Clients of the organization include Saskatchewan's creative entrepreneurs in areas including music, film, television and books.

Erin Dean, CEO of Creative Saskatchewan, said a significant amount of money was lost in the scam.

"We take the stewardship of public dollars very seriously, so it was incredibly disappointing to see this happen," Dean said.

The scam was reported to police and is now under investigation. Dean said $118,336 of the funds lost in the scam have been recovered as of Monday.

"Our desired outcome is to recover the full amount, in some ways that is out of our control," Dean said.

"But the part that's within our control is to protect ourselves against this happening again, so we're investing a lot of energy into making sure that we're better prepared to spot these scam attempts as they are becoming more frequent and more sophisticated."

Dean said Creative Saskatchewan is reviewing its processes and controls to see where they can be strengthened so similar incidents can be prevented in the future. She added the agency's employees are being enrolled in regular cybersecurity training courses.