CEO impersonation scam targets one Acadiana company

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The Better Business Bureau is issuing a warning to consumers of CEO impersonation scams trying to steal information from employees. 

A local oilfield services company recently was targeted by this scam. 

By targeting high level executives, scammers can gain complete top down access to all of a businesses’ operations. 

Chris Babin, Business Administration Manager with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said, “Whaling, more specifically, is scams that target higher level employees spoofing or pretending to be higher level employees requesting information from other members on the staff.” 

The goal is to steal sensitive information such as financial data or personal details about employees. 

“It might be a human resources employee asking for personal information about employees,” explained Babin. “It might be a purchasing manager with credit card or account information on how to purchase stuff. They (scammers) impersonate the CEO asking that employee ‘hey send me the account numbers for this so that I can make a purchase.’” 

The request will often be for a large money transfer via wire, which is non-recoverable. Scammers can often make their requests by getting details by researching the company or hacking into emails. 

“They’re targeting employees that have access to this information. That might be things that they do within their day to day operation where they send money to other locations or other companies that they’re doing business with and all that scammer does it gets in there. Tries to pretend to be somebody that they would normally send money to or send money on behalf or and then gets the information that way,” added Babin. 

News 10 asked, “So this scam happened to a local company, correct?” 

“A local energy services company here based out of the Broussard area was contacted in the past few weeks,” said Babin. “Different employees were contacted asking for information this specific information on this time was they asked that employee to go purchase some gift cards and by then provide them the purchasing information from the gift card.” 

Here are some tips to prevent and prepare for potential “phishing” attacks: 

  • Be wary of short, generic messages. Experts say scammers won’t write a long email. 

  • Double check before clicking or downloading any attachments, especially through email format. 

  • Think about how you share. Never send personal information regardless of who’s asking for it. 

  • Watch out for emails to groups. 

If you have a scam you’d like me to report or investigate, feel free to send me an email at smasters@klfy.com. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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