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CEO fraud is a risk to medical companies as they increasingly carry out their work online. This type of online threat generally doesn’t involve the CEO directly but instead pretends to be the CEO or another high-level executive. By using the same name from a different email address, spammers are able to trick lower level employees into believing the email is coming from the high-level executive when it isn’t.

The fake email includes the real person’s name with an email address that is slightly or completely different from the real email address. Generally, people won’t check the email address and will believe it’s coming from the person named in the subject, especially since the emails seem official with headings and footers including a real company name.

The scams play on the trust you already have, as well as fear. In this case, you could be afraid to let down an executive in your company and risk your job, so you follow the email. Increased awareness and cybersecurity solutions for medical professionals can help protect against this type of scam.

Here is an example of how these scams work:

———————————–

From: Jason Peterson <info@rt-43-828.co.com>

Sent: Friday, September 21, 2018 8:19 AM

To: Jessica Dearing <jdearing@medicalpro.net>

Subject: Urgent – Respond please

 

Jessica—

I need to know when you are available. I have an urgent project for you. I will be in an important meeting. I need no phone calls or texts, so reply to my email.

 

Jason Peterson

Senior Vice President

 

Sent from my iPhone

———————————–

Subject: RE: Urgent – Respond Please

Date: Friday, September 21, 2018 8:26 AM

From: Jessica Dearing <jdearing@medicalpro.net>

To: Jason Peterson <info@rt-43-828.co.com>

 

Was your previous email intended for me?

 

Jessica Dearing

Project Manager

 

Sent from my iPhone

———————————–

From: Jason Peterson <info@rt-43-828.co.com>

Sent: Friday, September 21, 2018 8:19 AM

To: Jessica Dearing <jdearing@medicalpro.net>

Subject: RE: Urgent – Respond please

 

Yes, Jessica. I need you to handle an international payment while I’m in this meeting.

It’s pending. Can you take the bank details now?

 

Jason Peterson

Senior Vice President

———————————–

Subject: RE: Urgent – Respond Please

Date: Friday, September 21, 2018 8:26 AM

From: Jessica Dearing <jdearing@medicalpro.net>

To: Jason Peterson <info@rt-43-828.co.com>

 

Yes, I’m available. Usually Kim sets these up and my department handles the authorization. I can’t see it under PC banking to authorize it. Is it set up and ready to go?

———————————–

From: Jason Peterson <info@rt-43-828.co.com>

Sent: Friday, September 21, 2018 8:19 AM

To: Jessica Dearing <jdearing@medicalpro.net>

Subject: RE: Urgent – Respond please

 

I understand. It is a very busy day. Can you find a way to make it work? Can I send the bank details to you?

———————————–

Subject: RE: Urgent – Respond Please

Date: Friday, September 21, 2018 8:26 AM

From: Jessica Dearing <jdearing@medicalpro.net>

To: Jason Peterson <info@rt-43-828.co.com>

 

Okay, I will make it work. If necessary, I will work with Kim to get it done. You can go ahead and send the details.

———————————–

From: Jason Peterson <info@rt-43-828.co.com>

Sent: Friday, September 21, 2018 8:19 AM

To: Jessica Dearing <jdearing@medicalpro.net>

Subject: RE: Urgent – Respond please

 

Great, thanks. I need you to send $30,000 by international transfer. Here is the info:

NAME: Company

SORT CODE: 56715671

ACCOUNT: 567156715671

IBAN: ABCD5671567156715671567156715671

SWIFT ABC: ABCD5671

BANK: Bank name

ADDRESS: Bank address

Please send me a copy of the payment slip after you finish.

———————————–

Subject: RE: Urgent – Respond Please

Date: Friday, September 21, 2018 8:26 AM

From: Jessica Dearing <jdearing@medicalpro.net>

To: Jason Peterson <info@rt-43-828.co.com>

 

Okay, I’ll get it done today.

———————————–

It might seem like online scams are always personal attacks, but many of them target companies, including medical ones. They use executive names and company details to seem legitimate. Scammers might act as an executive asking an employee to send money transfers, buy gift cards and share the card numbers, or carry out some other financial task.

All employees should be made aware of these scams and advised to check with the boss before carrying out financial requests, especially if the request isn’t being made of the correct job title. Also, cybersecurity solutions for medical professionals can provide extra protection against these kinds of threats. Global Data Systems offers computer security and network security to monitor and secure businesses from online threats.

GDS works with Local Hospitals, Covered Entities and Business Associates Across the United States.

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