Springfords LLP blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

I'd Like to Fraud your Network......

01 September 2017

Is nowhere safe from the online trolls, seeking to shmooze their way into your life and business? The short answer is no, which is the short answer you should give to those spurious invitations to connect.

A curiously attractive face pops up on your possible connections page. You cannot recall ever meeting them, but you’re tempted to find out more. Well, they do seem friendly.

Then, a highly-qualified senior manager, who you may or may not know from a convention or conference from a while back, makes a vague overture that might just lead to the career move you’re seeking. Now, that sounds like it could be your lucky day.

You’re hovering over the accept-the-connection button. Well, what harm can it do? Think twice. That might just be the start of your troubles.

As you know, we’re very keen to make new connections at Springfords, but we’re also very careful just with whom we enter into relations. That’s why we run the occasional seminars and reports on cybercrime and online security to help you learn about the importance of keeping your credentials safe and secure.

Criminals, who don’t look anything like as attractive as us, and who are not really CEO material, are on the lookout for people just like you.

Whatever platforms you use, for social media, or to keep your business in the public eye, there are criminals ready to take advantage, if you’re not extra careful.

There’s been a spate of what the media is calling ‘CEO Fraud’, targeting professional networks like LinkedIn (other professional networks are available). If faces more likely to appear on Tinder are starting to show up in your would-be networks, then you might have already experienced an attempt to reel in you, and your company. Online fraudsters are posing as finance chiefs, and it may be your company next.

You may get that spurious request to connect, but that’s just the start. If you do connect, there may be a criminal gang on the other end, trying to find out if your company has a management team to exploit. The next contact might use your details to pretend to be from a finance director or chief executive, telling someone else to transfer money quickly to a bank account for a specific reason. What would you do if you got an email, that looked like it was from someone in your company, saying something like: “I forgot to pay this invoice, we’re going to get cut off, better send funds to pay the bill immediately using these bank details.”

Except of course, that’s the last you’ll see of your company funds, and the only thing you’ll be subscribing to is the lifestyles of the nefarious and infamous, while they keep company with your cash. Embarrassing into the bargain.

It’s no isolated incident, either. A report in 2016 from the City of London Police National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) showed that £32m had been reported lost as a result of CEO fraud in Britain. We can only guess that the actual amount is more.

Everyone uses lots of online forums. If you don’t exercise the same sort of caution you would with a stranger in real life, it’s easy to fall into the countless traps set by the criminally classless. At Springfords, we believe you can never check on the security of your networks too often. We always take care to keep your privacy at the top of our agenda. All the best businesses do exactly the same for themselves. The only curiously attractive faces in your network should be ours, of course.

About the Springfords blog

springfords blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

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