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The Danish Bankers Association warns of fraud from fake CEOs

15 July 2016

​A particular type of fraud is advancing in Denmark. Criminals put employees in companies under stress to pay out large amounts by pretending to be their bosses. Millions have already been lost in 2016.
CEO Fraud is a newer attack method that is on the rise. Therefore, for the first time, the Danish Bankers Association has carried out a poll amongst Danish banks to create an overview.
In the first six months of 2016, there is knowledge of at least 92 successful attacks with an overall loss of over DKK 60 million.
“The attacks can be very well-arranged. Criminals monitor companies – sometimes by hacking into their systems. They wait until the CEO is on hol-iday, abroad or somehow unavailable, and then they strike,” says Senior Consultant at the Danish Bankers Association, Henriette Rolskov.
This kind of fraud is very advanced and unbelievably simple at the same time. It can, for example, start with a seemingly trustworthy email from the boss. He writes to his financial manager that a larger multi-million sum is to be transferred to a foreign account because they are going to buy a compa-ny. It is trustworthy and the transfer has to happen quickly. In reality, the email is from a fraudster, who has hacked into the boss’s email account and the account number is connected to a foreign bank account that the fraud-ster has access to.
The combination of stress and the desire to be loyal towards the boss means that the attacks can unfortunately be very effective.
Therefore, the Danish Bankers Association encourages companies to follow three simple pieces of advice and to be particularly aware of this issue in the summer holiday period.

1. Never pay out money without checking the recipient’s name and ac-count number via a trustworthy source and adhere to your security procedures – even when you are under pressure.

2. Create awareness in your organisation about the threat and share this article.

3. If the unfortunate occurs, the bank must be contacted as soon as possible. This is crucial if the bank is to have the option of freezing and reversing the authorised transaction, which an employee has been duped into carrying out.

As a rule, the money is lost once it has been transferred. The bank cannot get money back from foreign bank accounts just like that. Therefore, it is incredibly important that companies take responsibility and focus on this problem.
The Danish Bankers Association encourages companies to review and up-date internal business procedures concerning invoice payment and special payments that are to be carried out quickly outside of normal payment pro-cesses.
At the Danish company, Welltec, there have been several examples of this kind of fraud, which have fortunately been prevented by effective internal processes.
“The attacks had become so frequent that we decided to run internal infor-mation campaigns as a warning and to increase awareness. The best de-fence is that all employees know about the attacks, so that they are pre-pared and know why our procedures are so important,” says Steen Pipper, IT Director at the Danish company, Welltec
Further information:
Head of Media Relations at the Danish Bankers Association, Stine Luise Hansen
Tel.: +45 3016 1009
Email: [email protected]

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