CFO Scam

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The CFO scam is one data companies can be as much a victim of as the targets in the data. The scam is detailed here [1] and is summed up as "Advanced Phishing Scam Targets CEOs, CFOs for Phony Cash Transfers".

NEWS ANALYSIS: Social engineering is a major factor in the success of a sophisticated new fraud that's already resulted in the theft of millions from U.S. corporations. The email that Michael Becce shared with me certainly looked real. In the message he appeared to ask the CFO of the corporation he runs to send a large, but not unusually large wire transfer to a bank.

"I need you to do a wire of 28,500USD to the attached account. Kindly let me know as soon as transfer is done and send me a transfer confirmation in reply," the email said, and concluded, "Awaiting your reply." Attached to the email was a wire transfer form with an account at a Chinese bank. Read the article for more.

Data companies are at risk as the scammers are just as likely to be using false identities and credit cards to buy the data as they are to use the data for their scams.


The usual ask is for either CFO or the CFO and CEO of businesses in the UK, US, Australia and Singapore although they may ask for other contries. They will usually ask for a discount and look at spending between a few hundred pounds and £5,000 per purchase. Dont be surprised if they come back for more very quickly if they got the first lot from you.

Payment is usually by card, it may not be a UK bank. We have also seen payments direct from bank accounts and at least one case of cash over the counter into our bank.

Recognising The Scam Early

To avoid becoming a victim of this scam look out for these signs;

The scammers usually use a consumer email address. They usually work by email and dont offer a phone number. They may offer a genuine business name but dont be surprised if the business has never heard of them. The ask will usually be something like "I want email contact of CFo and CEo;s of companies in Uk, Australia, US and SIngapore, can you send me the price list."

What To Do

Dont supply, even if the payments look tempting you will have them clawed back, usually after you have paid the supplier.

Example identities used in this scam

from the simplest - [dan dan] to a complete business such as; [Anthony Schaller]