Businesses told to BEWARE of persuasive email scam

Businesses are being warned to be vigilant for an email fraud which is catching out unsuspecting managers and directors.

example of CEO fraud email
© PWC – example of CEO fraud email

Swindon IT support company Sensata says the email phishing scam – called CEO fraud, or president fraud – isn’t new, but is gaining in popularity among cyber criminals and has the potential to cost companies millions of pounds.

Chris Griffin, managing director at the Royal Wootton Bassett-based company, says CEO fraud involves criminals sending sophisticated emails as if from the chief executive or senior director in a company; they are such brilliant imitations of the style and tone of the genuine sender, that the recipient doesn’t suspect they are being scammed.

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“What usually happens is an email will be received by, for example, the finance director or finance manager and looks as if it has come from the CEO. The email will ask the finance person to transfer a sum of money into an account and give the account’s details,” he said.

“The email looks genuine, because it will adopt the same style as the CEO’s and so the person who receives it doesn’t question its validity. There can be clues in the email – such as a request to keep the transfer confidential, or to do the transfer immediately. Our message is: if in any doubt, check with the person who was supposed to have sent it.”

Chris said the Sensata team are warning clients to be vigilant about this phishing scam, and to be on the lookout for cybercrime in general.

He added: “CEO fraud is just one type of cybercrime. There are many more, and the criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated. People should be vigilant at all times.”

Sensata can help companies introduce measures which will help prevent them from becoming victims of cybercrime. For more information, visit www.sensata.co.uk or call 01793 250030.