Cyber Security for Employees – CEO Fraud

CEO Fraud

The CEO asks you to wire $28,000 immediately . . . what do you do?

The first thing you do is call the CEO. Don’t use the email as a validation of the instruction. It is so easy to spoof an email address and make it look like it is coming from a different destination.

Second, identify the real sender. Below are instructions for determining who is behind the email.

Third, take all necessary precautions with your financial institution to be sure that you are protected.

Fourth, report the culprit. It is not easy to report this type of attack and you may find it to be too cumbersome to seem worthwhile. If you decide not to report, the important point to remember is that you avoided the attack and are armed with the tools to avoid being a victim.

The CEO Fraud scam is growing exponentially. Rarely does a day go by that we don’t hear about another close miss or successful hit. This scam is exceptionally disturbing because the scammer has specific information on you and your company. Most often your website has been used to find the CEO, financial and project information. The scammer may reference a recent project that the CEO wants to pay through wire or check. The email looks real and the urgency is emphasized.

We all want to quickly take care of the boss’ request and the scammer counts on the CEO’s authority to prevent you from questioning the payment. Don’t let the scammer intimidate you. Use the tools we outline to give you the facts to avoid these scams.

  • Call the CEO, don’t respond to the email
    • If you respond to the email, it will go directly to the scammer and they will respond with further instructions.
    • How does this happen? They have spoofed your CEO’s email. This means it looks like it is coming from the CEO but has a different origin.
  • Identify the real sender
    • Reply to, but don’t send. The email address will be shown in your reply. The name shows Mary Hester, but clearly the email will be sent to
    • Move to your Junk mailbox where you can clearly see the originating email address.CEO Fraud eMail
    • How to tell? Look at the reply to address. You can do this in several ways.

CEO Fraud eMail

  • Take all necessary precautions with your financial institution
    • Call them immediately and make sure you have all possible fraud prevention enabled.
  • Report the scam


If you see something suspicious, report it to someone that can help. If you are unsure and need a second opinion, we can assist. Call our HelpDesk at 770 662-0312 or email

About Mary

Mary is the CEO of LAN Systems. She is an electrical engineer who feels her greatest strength is the ability to connect with people. LAN Systems provides IT managed services and solutions to growing companies and non-profit organizations. You can contact Mary at

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