Warning: Criminals are impersonating SA CEOs and other execs to steal money

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Criminals are impersonating South African executives - including CEOs and financial directors - to steal money from companies, the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) has warned.

Sabric says criminals impersonate senior managers and send email requests to junior staff in the accounting or finance function requesting that an urgent payment be made to a specific beneficiary.

In the statement Sabric CEO Susan Potgieter said criminals use information from company websites and other digital platforms to identify the details of CEOs, financial directors and other key senior individuals, which they use to target employees.

"Digital technology, combined with social engineering which exploits our human tendency to be compliant when faced with a directive from an authority figure, enables criminals to perpetuate this type of crime," said Potgieter.

"We urge staff to be vigilant about checking a sender's email address very carefully should they receive an email instructing them to make a payment. Often, the address will only differ by one or two characters," Potgieter said.

Sabric urged companies to never list main email address publicly online and to use a separate email address for the internet from their personal or business email account.

Ahead of Friday's strike, through which banking union Sasbo protesting retrenchments and job instability in the sector, FNB advised clients to access the bank's services through the FNB app, ATMs, automated deposit terminals, online and cellphone banking.

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