Scared of Being Phished? The SEC’s Commissioners Nearly Were…

If you’re not scared of falling victim to one of the numerous scams out there in the digital world, then you haven’t been paying attention to the corporate compliance training that you’re forced to undertake every year. The scams are getting infinitely more sophisticated – and effective – and advances in AI will only serve to boost their chances.

This Bloomberg article is truly an eye-opener as it provides details drawn from a FOIA request sent down to the SEC that reveals how close a few of the SEC Commissioners were to being scammed. This all could easily happen to you!

Here is an excerpt from the piece: “In one case, then-Commissioner Elad Roisman came close to losing his paycheck. On Sept. 22, 2019, Roisman was informed by the SEC’s Office of Information Technology that there was a request to change his login credentials. Roisman confirmed that the request had not come from him.

Two days later, a scammer, posing as Roisman, emailed the SEC’s human resources from a Charter Communications account, requesting a blank direct deposit form in an effort to reroute Roisman’s government salary to an unrelated American Express account in Salt Lake City.

An HR employee, believing the request was legitimate due to Roisman’s high-ranking position, complied and sent the form. This incident was later examined by the inspector general’s office. The SEC employee explained that “he was usually very careful about sending responses to unknown email addresses.” But given Roisman’s status as a commissioner the employee said he “did not want to delay a response.”

As his paycheck was being prepared, the SEC stopped the transfer of it to the fraudulent account just in time, and secured Rosiman’s account. This action was prompted when another SEC employee, verifying the direct deposit change with Roisman’s staff, learned that Roisman had not requested any alterations to his account.”

The Bloomberg piece goes on to describe several other incidents in which high-ranking officials at the SEC were impersonated. Scary!

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