If you receive an email that seems to be from someone you know, especially someone in a leadership position for an organization to which you belong, instructing you to spend your own money on something, here are tips on what to look for and what to do.
What to Look For:
- Is the email address of the sender correct?
- Does the language sound appropriate for that person?
- Is the topic new or something you have already discussed?
- Is the person asking you to spend your money on something that you will be reimbursed for later?
- Are they asking you for sensitive information?
- Do they make it seem urgent?
- Do they tell you it is secret and not to tell anyone else (e.g., to buy gift cards for everyone else in the organization to be given to them as gifts)?
- Do they tell you not to call them?
- Do they tell you to send them the numbers on the gift cards?
What to Do:
- Call the person who the email is supposed to be from to find out if it really is from them
- Have everyone’s email addresses removed from public access (i.e., the organization’s website)
- Immediately contact everyone else in the organization to advise them that they may receive a similar email and that it is a hoax
- Advise everyone to change their passwords and do the same for access to the organization’s information