The European Society
of Human Genetics

News details

SCAM attempt on ESHG members

Beware of recent scam attempts. Criminals are impersonating association executives to trigger money transfers.

A number of ESHG members have been the target of a scam scheme (a variation of the “CEO scam” adapted to associations https://cba.ca/how-to-spot-ceo-scam), which has been around in a number of scientific associations in recent months. The scammers research the websites of associations, impersonate the president, or one of the board members (often very convincingly) and contact other fellow colleagues to make a money transfer to their account.

They try to create a situation, which sounds plausible without giving too many details (which would uncover them), but still enough so that members may actually believe it is genuine. Often they will uncover their plan only in the second or third email after they engaged a member in an email conversation. Unfortunately experience has shown that this can become an actual threat.

Be very careful, when you receive such an email. Please always check the actual address that will be displayed when you click on „reply“. These people are technically proficient, so they may make appear the name of a friend or their email address in the email you receive (this is called „spoofing“), but when clicking on reply you will see the real address of the sender/scammer (which is different from the one you know).

Please do not actually reply to this person! And do not cc other people as you are giving away their email addresses and make them the next possible target. Note that this is not necessarily an indication that your colleague’s mailbox was hacked, but rather that scammers are impersonating a person you supposedly know.

Use caution when forwarding the email to your colleague to make them aware. Make sure to "forward" and use the real address you have on file (do not hit “reply”), as obviously the scammer will confirm that he is the "real deal".

They are unfortunately rather convincing and successful. So please be aware that you may also become the next target.