PC Pitstop Avoids CEO Fraud
Jodi Pierce, an accountant for PC Pitstop, received an email on February 8, 2017 with the following request:
Jodi was initially suspicious of the email, stating,
“When I received an email from Rob Cheng, our company CEO, asking me to transfer money to a beneficiary, I was immediately suspicious. While I do work in accounting, it did not sound like something Rob would have sent via email. However, still uncertain of the situation, I responded with my willingness to help.”
Jodi sent an email back to the scammer, and received this email in response. We have highlighted the red flags our team noticed. Jodi stated one thing stuck out to her more than the rest,
“It was when the email came back with detailed banking information that I knew for sure it was a scam and forwarded the email to Sheila with a follow up phone call.”
Thankfully, Jodi knew not to send over $14,000 to an unknown party. Instead she reached out, and was able to determine this was indeed what is called “CEO Fraud”. This scam is becoming more and more popular. Stu Sjouwerman from KnowBe4 recently made the following statement regarding these scam attacks,
[ALERT] The bad guys are starting their tax scams early this season! They are now combining two scams-in-one. First, they ask you to send them the W-2 forms of all employees, with the email looking like it comes from the CEO or a C-level executive. Next, they follow up with an urgent request to transfer a large sum of money to a bank account controlled by these cyber criminals.
Remember that when you receive sudden requests like this, they may be spoofed emails and that you should double check by picking up the phone and verify that this is a legit request coming from that executive. In these cases, it’s “OK to say NO to the CEO”.
This tax season, stay alert for scams like this, and Think Before You Click!
Stay alert, and stay safe!