Caveat Emptor

On a recent morning extremely crowded train commute McLeod Governance found themselves standing over the top of and – discretely, we promise – staring at the smartphone of a fellow commuter.

This commuter was checking her email and came across what to our eye seemed to be an obviously fake email requesting that she pays a fine for a traffic infringement.  

The reason why were knew that it was a fraud – other than the fact that we were in her personal space by virtue of the over crowded nature of the trip – was because it was ostensibly sent by an organisation that most people would realise had no jurisdiction to issue a fine.

But … all of that didn’t stop our fellow commuter from opening the email and then … yes, you guessed it … clicking on the link contained within to expose herself to the malicious intent of the fraudulent sender.

It made us stop and think as to what were our responsibilities in such a situation?

Should we have alerted her to the hallmarks of the fraud and risk disclosing that we were reviewing something (her emails) that (non-crowded train) etiquette would dictate we should not have?

Or is there a form of a caveat emptor as it relates to online frauds these days?  

They are so prevalent and we have now for decades been made constantly aware of them that it is now the point that the responsibility for avoiding the dangers of such missives solely lies with the opener of the correspondence.

What approach would you take?

And would it be different had the incident happened within your organisation rather than with the proverbial random stranger on an overcrowded commute?

Subscribe to Receive Our Email Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.