Email scams are on the rise, with criminals targeting specific employees in order to scam them out of money. In many of the cases, employees THINK they are getting an email from their boss at work. In one instance, a worker opened an email supposedly from a supervisor, asking the worker to buy $4,000 in gift cards. After sending off the gift card numbers, the employee learned it was a scam. By that time, the money was already gone, and the gift cards had been cashed.
Victims in these types of cases genuinely believe the emails are from their boss. This is a crime called spear phishing. Criminals target specific people based on where they work, and pretend to be a coworker. Anyone who gets an email from someone asking them to spend money, transfer money, or buy gift cards should be aware it is likely a scam. Instead of making a purchase or transferring money, that person should directly call his or her supervisor asking questions.
Another red flag is in the “FROM” part of the email. Is the person using the correct work email address? Many of the scammers’ emails originate in other countries, like .lv or .ng and should raise concerns. Anyone who receives an email like this should NOT reply or send money. Call and ask questions, and report it to the company’s IT department.