Fraud to the president?
“Anyone can fall for it,” insists Yoann Lemetayer, well placed to talk about it.
The CEO of Mahevas, which specializes in the manufacture of tools for the cosmetics sector and 40% of its activity is exported, was the target at the end of May.
The mishap took place when Sophie (
Editor's note: the first name has been changed
) arrived in the Morbihan company to temporarily replace the historical accountant.
It all starts with a first email sent from the boss's mailbox, Yoann, signed by him and using his usual formulations.
Email in which he informs the accountant, recently in post, of a project to acquire a company abroad which must remain secret.
Cybersecurity: the six priorities to protect your business
He trusts her, relies on her vigilance, warns her that a certain Maître Muller, from the KPMG firm, will contact her by phone.
"This is a fake me," comments the usurped boss, specifying that he never sent anything like this.
Hackers are very knowledgeable because we work with KPMG.
Transfers in Hungary
Said Muller immediately calls and explains the rest of the operations to the new accountant.
“Sophie switches from one interlocutor to another, unrolls Yoann Lemetayer.
It's the start of relentless harassment.
“An experienced professional, she applies herself to following the instructions, believing she is doing the right thing, without anyone suspecting anything and even though her office is facing Yoann's.
Thus, at the request of the limited partners, it opens a bank account in Hungary and makes three successive transfers there, between 55,000 euros and 70,000 euros each.
Alerted, the bank calls ... the accountant, to verify that it is indeed at the origin.
Sophie remains inundated with emails and phone calls.
"Everything is going well, the inauguration of the takeover is coming soon," she is warned.
“For the pirates, everything was rolling.
Why not continue?
»Quips the head of this company with a turnover of 7 million euros.
The transfers are linked.
The bank no longer shows up.
And then one morning, two weeks after the start of hostilities and when the accounts are empty, Sophie, asked for a new payment, calls her employer - the real one - to tell him of her distress.
She refers to the last email he is supposed to have sent her and to which she has just answered ... Yoann looks at his mailbox, sees nothing.
Sophie transfers it to her personal box ... He then discovers the pot aux roses: he is the victim of a Fovi, a false international transfer order.
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“It's panic on board,” he recalls.
The transfers are made, it is impossible to cancel them.
Calls to the bank, to the police station, filing a complaint ... “The accountant is devastated.
It will be heard at length by the fraud repression brigade.
My priority is to make sure that she does not commit suicide, ”explains the business manager.
500,000 euros in damages
All his interactions with fraudsters are tracked down by a cell specialized in cybercrime.
“This is a fairly well-known Israeli sector,” announces it to a stunned Yoann Lemetayer.
On trial against his bank, which he accuses of negligence, Yoann has since clamped down on the control of his accounts at all levels and remains determined to recover all this stolen money.
A total loss that he estimates at 500,000 euros, "that the insurance does not cover since it is we who made the transfers," he says.
In the meantime, the solidarity of its customers and suppliers has helped it to replenish its cash flow.
Some have paid him all the invoices owed ruby on the nail, others have granted a delay in payment.
Today, he believes that he has an important role in alerting all SMEs, many like him to be trapped.