CEO Fraud: Detect Email Phishing Scams at an Early Stage

Just like any other employee, you never think twice before opening an email from your CEO or senior partner. In general it is a good idea to act well thought-through on CEO mails but with the recent email scams that have become so common the workplace, we recommend that you think maybe thrice before acting on these emails  even though from your CEO. According to reports released recently, the phishing scam that is known as CEO fraud has hit over a whooping 12,000 people and racked over $2 billion losses already. These losses have a median of about $120,000 and the highest loss reported was $90 million. Surprisingly, this money was diverted to other accounts rather than the business’s accounts, its unrecoverable, and untraceable. Gone.

If you are an employee especially those in the finance or procurement department and responsible for disbursement of funds, watch out for the following to detect and avoid being deceived by such fake boss fraud emails.

Greetings appears to be off

You already know how you relate with your CEO and other seniors in the organization. Perhaps there is a way they greet you. If you notice that an email from your senior has something that sounds off, especially the greetings don’t be too quick to release the money.

The tone is abnormal

Emails from fraudsters are likely to be too formal and sometimes very strict. Apart from that, numerous typos and international spelling variations could indicate that something isn’t right. Coupled with a weird tone, these red flags should help understand that you should first be sure of who the sender of the email is before you release the funds.

Unusual requests

If your senior has never requested you to transfer funds on behalf of your vendor, especially one you have never transacted with, think twice.  You may need to find out who exactly is making the request before jumping into conclusions.

There is inconsistency in the usual chain of command

In any organization, there is a particular chain of command. For example, the CEO might be historically requesting salary details through a senior controller. If at any day the CEO requests this information directly from the hiring manager or any other HR clerk, the manager should first find out if the request is really from the CEO and not anyone else.

It is normal for employees to respond promptly to their senior’s requests and emails. However, you shouldn’t do so blindly because fraudsters can use such weaknesses to have you transfer money and important information to their destinations.

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