Jan. 8, 2019

We have received several reports of "whaling" emails baring the signature of IUPS President Julie Chan. The emails request some amount of money to assist with the logistics of the 2019 FAOPS Congress in March. These emails are 100% FALSE.

Whaling is a type of scam aimed at persuading an employee to transfer money or send sensitive information to a hacker acting as a trusted source via email. Whaling is extremely easy to fall for and can result in significant financial losses. These e-mails can be difficult to catch because they appear to be harmless, and have a normal, friendly tone and no links or attachments. They will appear to come from a high-level official at the company, typically the CEO or CFO, and often ask you to disclose sensitive information or initiate a wire transfer.

A few things to watch out for in a typical whaling attempt:

  • Doppelganger: Whalers may utilize fake e-mail domains that look similar to our domain. Watch out for things like: [EMAIL]@[VARIATION ON COMPANY DOMAIN]
  • A hurried tone: Whalers will often ask you to send money immediately, stating that they’re busy or in a meeting, and can’t do it themselves.
  • E-mail only: Since whaling relies on impersonating an employee via a fake, yet similar email address, they will ask you not to call with questions and only reply through e-mail.

If you receive an e-mail that you suspect to be a whaling attempt, or if you are unsure of an e-mail’s legitimacy, please do not respond. Instead, contact me ASAP. Remember, nobody from IUPS will ever request personal information, usernames, passwords, or money from you via email.

If you have any questions about the legitimacy of any emails having to do with IUPS business, please contact IUPS Manager Steven Webster ASAP.

As an additional precaution, please take a few minutes to update any cyber-security software, including anti-virus and firewalls, on your computer. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.