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Is That Really a Text from Your CEO… or Is It a Scam?

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Imagine you’re going about your day when you get a text from the CEO. They’re out doing customer visits and need you to buy some gift cards. This is a high priority. The CEO needs the card details urgently. Would this kind of request make you pause and wonder? Would you quickly pull out your credit card to do as asked? A surprising number of employees fall for this gift card scam.

Without proper training, 32.4% of employees are prone to fall for a phishing scam.


Why Do Employees Fall for Phishing Scams?

  • They are afraid of not doing as asked by a superior.
  • They jump at the chance to save the day.
  • They don’t want to let their company down.
  • They may feel they can advance in their career by helping.


The scam’s message is also crafted in a way to get the employee to act without thinking or checking. It includes a sense of urgency. The CEO needs the gift card details right away. Also, the message notes that the CEO will be out of touch for the next few hours. This decreases the chance the employee will try to contact the real CEO to check the validity of the text.

Tips for Avoiding Costly Phishing Scams

  • Always Double Check Unusual Requests: Despite what a message might say about being unreachable, check in person or by phone anyhow. If you receive any unusual requests or one relating to money, verify it. Contact the person through other means to make sure it’s legitimate.
  • Don’t React Emotionally: Scammers often try to get victims to act before they have time to think. Just a few minutes of sitting back and looking at a message objectively is often all that’s needed to realize it’s a scam. Don’t react emotionally, instead ask if this seems real or is it out of the ordinary.
  • Get a Second Opinion: Ask a colleague, or better yet, your company’s IT service provider, to take look at the message. Getting a second opinion keeps you from reacting right away. It can save you from making a costly judgment error.

Need Help with Employee Phishing Awareness Training? Contact us today or book a discovery session 

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