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BlogScam AlertScam Alert: Unmasking the CEO Scam to Keep You Safe

Scam Alert: Unmasking the CEO Scam to Keep You Safe

Agnes Lindberg

Jun 19, 20234 min read

Navigating the digital world can sometimes feel like walking through a minefield, especially when you consider the ever-evolving techniques scammers use to get their hands on your hard-earned money. The 'CEO Scam' is one such trick that's been causing headaches for many people, from individuals to businesses. This isn't your run-of-the-mill phishing scam; it's a sophisticated game of deception that's catching many people off guard.

This happened to us, so we thought we should share, even though it's not new and others have already warned people in the past. Just last week, various Truecaller employees received a WhatsApp message from a sender claiming to be our co-founder, Alan Mamedi. The message was simple but urgent, "Please get back to me as soon as you get my text. Thanks. Alan Mamedi."

So, what exactly is this CEO Scam?

Picture this: you receive an urgent email or WhatsApp message from your company's CEO or a high-ranking executive, like our employees last week. They need you to transfer funds for an important deal or share some sensitive company data. The message seems genuine, and it's from the boss, so it must be legit, right? Unfortunately, you might have just become the latest victim of the CEO Scam.

Scammers pretending to be the top dogs in your company send out these messages to dupe employees into sharing sensitive information or making financial transactions. They're not just sticking to email either. They're invading your favorite communication channels like WhatsApp and other social networks, using every trick in the book to make their scams more convincing.

The scary part is, these scams can be incredibly sophisticated. Some scammers even use 'deep fakes', using artificial intelligence to clone the CEO's voice or image, making it almost impossible to tell whether it's real or fake.

And don't think you're safe just because you don't work for a big corporation. Scammers have been known to impersonate famous figures and send messages to fans and followers asking for donations to a 'worthy cause' or offering a chance to 'win an exclusive prize'. Always remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Keeping Yourself Safe from the CEO Scam

Staying safe in the face of these scams may seem daunting, but with a few key strategies and a healthy dose of skepticism, you can protect yourself effectively.

  1. Download Truecaller: If the sender is marked as spam in the Truecaller app, we'll be able to identify it on other messaging apps as well. Not identified? Copy and paste the number and do a manual search on the Truecaller app or on Truecaller.com.
  2. Double-Check the Source: Always verify any unusual or unexpected requests, especially those involving money or sensitive information. If you receive a message from your 'CEO' or 'executive,' don't respond immediately. Instead, reach out to them through another channel to confirm the request.
  3. Be Suspicious of Urgency: Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency to make you act without thinking. If a message pressures you to act quickly, take a moment to breathe and verify the information first.
  4. Educate Yourself: Stay updated on the latest scams and tactics that are circulating. The more you know, the better you can protect yourself and others around you.
  5. Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Enable 2FA on all your accounts. This adds an extra layer of security, making it harder for scammers to gain access even if they have your password.
  6. Don't Share Sensitive Information: Never share sensitive personal or financial information over email or WhatsApp. Legitimate organizations will never ask for these details in an unsolicited message.
  7. Report Suspicious Activity: If you suspect that you have been targeted by a scam, report it. This could be to your IT department, your social media platform, or even your local law enforcement. And mark it as spam in your Truecaller app.

Remember, the digital world doesn't have to be a scary place. By staying informed and vigilant, you can navigate it safely and confidently. Don't let the scammers win - arm yourself with knowledge and share it with your community. Together, we can put a stop to these scams and create a safer online environment for all.

At Truecaller we have made it our mission to build trust in communication. We do our best to help you navigate a world where fraud and unwanted communication is a part of your daily life. Stay updated about recent scams, and watch the latest Youtube videos on how you and the 350 million-strong community of people using Truecaller every month can stay protected. You'll find us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and TikTok.

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Agnes Lindberg

Jun 19, 20234 min read

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