Case: Email Compromise
When the CFO of a private Multi-Family Office returned to her desk after lunch, the top of her inbox included an email from a senior member of one of the client families marked ‘High Importance.’ The subject line read “Immediate Wire Transfer Required,” a request that struck the CFO as somewhat unusual, however, the sender’s email address and writing style – including knowledge of internal processes – all looked normal and above board. The email from the family member also indicated he would be unavailable for the next 24 hours – due to his remote location – and would therefore be unable to respond. All of this aligned with the CFO’s knowledge of his travel schedule. The CFO facilitated the 6-figure wire transfer to the requested offshore account and resumed her normal activities. Several weeks later, the CFO had a regularly scheduled meeting with the family member. After the first few minutes passed discussing the Caribbean vacation, both individuals turned to business items and quickly discovered, after an awkward exchange of confused looks, that they were the victims of a well-orchestrated fraud scheme.