Tuesday, December 7, 2021
TechWhen cyber crooks act as the boss

When cyber crooks act as the boss

Published: 21st Aug 2021 11:53 pm

Hyderabad: You are working from home and there is a sudden call from the boss, or maybe, an ‘urgent’ email. You might be asked to send some money, or make a quick cash transfer from the company’s account. It is the ‘boss’, do you agree right away, or call the boss and check?

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With Work from Home modules continuing for many, such sudden calls or emails are what cyber crooks are now using to trick people. Law enforcement agencies, both national and international, are therefore issuing advisories asking people to be wary of such urgent requests.

Commonly known as CEO fraud or Business Email Compromise, this is where an employee authorised to make payments is tricked into paying a fake invoice or making an unauthorised transfer out of the business account, or otherwise, asked to make urgent payments by a fraudster via call or email posing as a high ranking figure within the company.

According to an advisory from Europol’s Cybercrime Centre, the employee is requested not to follow the regular authorisation procedures. Instructions on how to proceed may be given later, by a third person or via email.

“They use language such as: ‘Confidentiality’, ‘The company trusts you’, ‘I am currently unavailable’. Often, the request is for international payments to banks outside Europe. They have a good knowledge about the organisation. They refer to a sensitive situation (e.g tax control, merger, acquisition),” the advisory says.

With cyber crooks trying out every trick in the book, it is always better to be cautious and call up and check with the company or the boss directly, agencies say.

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