This definition explains the meaning of spoof. The word spoof means falsify. Email spoofing is a fraudulent email activity whereby hackers alter an emails’ sender information. The email then appears to come from within the company itself. As another type of malware, email spoofing can have malicious motives such as virus spreading or attempts to gain personal banking information.

The hacker will often send an email internally to a business’s accounts team and pretend to be the CEO. Then, the email will ask for funds to be urgently transferred to an off-shore account. Hackers posing as the CEO can also request salary or rental payments to be directed to a new account. It is for this reason that businesses should consider a multi-layered approach to avoid getting scammed. This approach includes:

  • A multi-person approval process for transactions over a certain dollar threshold.
  • Ensure IT security is up-to-date with anti-virus, anti-spyware and a good firewall.
  • Check directly with your supplier if you notice a change in account details.
  • Never send a reply by return email or use any other contact details provided.
  • Ensure you have the correct contact details by finding older communications or otherwise independently source them to ensure you’re not contacting the scammer.