Canadian life insurer Ivari Insurance has been caught up in a cheque forgery scam police have described as a "sophisticated mass-market text fraud."
Following a nine-month investigation by the RCMP and Toronto police, two Toronto residents have been arrested and charged with 18 counts of forgery. Equipment capable of sending out 96,000 texts per day was also seized from an apartment in the west end of the city.
Speaking to the media, officers called the apartment a one-stop shop for sending text solicitations and forging cheques that appeared to be from reputable businesses.
It is believed that those who responded to the random texts would receive a cheque in the mail, which they were told to deposit into their own bank account, before wiring the money overseas to alleged associates of the accused.
The investigation began in January when HCM Staffing Solutions alerted the authorities that forged cheques bearing their company logo were being deposited at banks across the city.
Police say that when the banks discovered the forgeries, those who deposited the cheques had to repay the money.
Ivari Insurance, HCM Staffing Solutions and loan company Goeasy all had forged cheques bearing their logo used in the scam.
Police are now appealing to anyone who receives a cheque in the mail to contact the purported issuer immediately it to confirm its authenticity prior to depositing it at the bank.
Ivari is the former Transamerica Life Canada, having changed its name last year.
The firm made headlines recently when it was mistaken on social media for French hair restoration company Ivari International, alleged to the architects behind the most famous hairstyle in U.S. politics, that of Donald Trump.
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