Beware Executive Imposter Scams Aimed at New Employees

In an increasingly common approach, scammers are targeting recent hires, purporting to be corporate executives at the individuals’ new companies. Employees are asked to complete tasks such as sharing personal information, purchasing a gift card for a client, or wiring funds to another business. The new employee is tempted to do as asked, as the scammers prey on eagerness to make a good impression and lack of context as to what’s reasonable at the company.

Scammers seemingly gather information by scraping LinkedIn for job changes and corporate titles, then cross-reference their new knowledge with email addresses and phone numbers stolen in data breaches. The best defense is awareness: add security training to your onboarding process. Teach new employees to distrust unsolicited messages from unfamiliar addresses or numbers, to be wary of unusual requests, and to check with a trusted source within the company before replying.