Maine companies are being hit with a type of email scam often referred to as “CEO fraud,” the state Bureau of Financial Institutions said.

CEO fraud scams seek to obtain a wire transfer of money from an employee in the finance or accounts payable office of a business, the bureau said Wednesday in a news release. This is done by sending an email to the employee, or a series of messages, posing as a senior executive of the company.

National reports indicate that the scams, also known as business email compromise scams, have become more convincing and more difficult to detect as fraudulent, the release said. Additionally, some scammers are sending multiple messages over time to make sure they have the trust of their targets before asking for the wire transfer.

“Although some (business email compromise) attempts can be identified by closely reading the email, these and other types of scams often evolve over time and become more difficult to recognize,” said bureau Superintendent Lloyd LaFountain. “We live in an age when requests for money or for our personal information over the phone or through email should be carefully evaluated and confirmed as being authentic.”

The bureau encouraged anyone receiving an email requesting a wire transfer of funds to a vendor or other entity to double-check with the person requesting the transaction by speaking directly with that person or sending him or her a separate message. It reminded all consumers to never give out Social Security numbers, banking or credit card numbers or other personal information unless they are certain the request is legitimate.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

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