Woman conned out of £50,000 in shrewd spearphishing scam

In a variation of the "CEO Fraud", spearphishing is getting more up close and personal. Read this story and apply the lesson learned in your own life before you lose your life savings.


Vivian Gabb, 59, of London, was in the middle of buying a house. Her email account had been hacked and was monitored considerable time before the scam.

The criminals learned of the closing details by intercepting an email from her lawyer. They then spoofed an email from her attorney, and sent her instructions to wire the money to their own account instead of the lawyer's bank and immediately emptied the account the moment the money arrived. 

After she lost the money she went back and looked at the email and noticed that the email address the scammer used was missing an "s" in "partners." She lost almost £50,000, her life savings. She tells her alarming story in this short BBC video. Read it and send it to your friends: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-33257129

Lesson learned: -- And this is true for individuals as well as larger organizations -- when you are dealing with large amounts of money, ALWAYS get on the phone with the person on the receiving end by dialing a phone number that is known to be correct for that organization, and confirm the transaction. ALWAYS have two people responsible for signing off checks or transfers of large amounts. NEVER act on just an email with instructions for money transfers. 

This is just one lesson you can learn by stepping through effective security awareness training. Find out how affordable this is for your organization and be pleasantly surprised:

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Related Pages: Spear Phishing

Topics: Spear Phishing

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