Is that Email from your Boss? FBI Warns of CEO Fraud Scams
Since October 2013, dollar losses to CEO fraud emails have hit over $3.1 billion, according to a report released by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation). The FBI revealed this figure during a public-service announcement on the IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center and has been warning companies and even small business owners about fraudsters who are using bogus emails to execute their CEO fraud plans and rob various businesses their income.
Besides, the FBI reported that various companies had lost over $2.3 billion to the CEO fraud scams between 2014 and February 2016. The IC3 reports that 22,143 victims were being targeted by the fraudsters between 2013 and 2016. Note that the $3.1 billion figure refers to the losses incurred in the United States. Surprisingly, the IC3 revealed that it had received approximately 15,688 reports from victims all over the world.
With such scary stats, don’t you think CEO fraud scams are real?
Just ignore you boss’s email and phone him/her back
If you don’t ignore that weird email and call the boss back, your company will pay for it! Keep in mind that CEO fraudsters tend to use an email belonging to a senior employee and make money transfer request. Besides, they can create a domain similar to your business and then persuade your clients to make payments to an offshore account. Whichever the case, the email will appear as if it was sent by your CEO. If you are not careful, you will simply transfer the funds, only to realize later that you transferred funds to the wrong people.
One of the ways of curbing such scams is by ignoring any email that requests funds transfer urgently especially from people who claim to be your senior. Instead of responding to the email or just transferring the money, just call the senior employee who is requesting the fund’s transfer via phone, (use the official contact, not any contact given in the emails).
With that, you can easily identify whoever is requesting the transfer. If it were not your CEO or any other senior employee in the organization but a fake bogus boss, you would have saved your company from loss of funds. This is a simple action that can save your business.
Therefore, if you receive an email that requests money urgently, just ignore it and phone back your boss on the phone and make sure to verify the request.