Apparently, even billion-dollar publishing empires aren’t immune to good-old fashioned email fraud. According to a lawsuit filed by the company, Condé Nast transferred $8 million into the bank account of an alleged wire fraudster named Andy Surface. But the company is probably blushing at the ease with which it was tricked into parting ways with its money: Filings say that it all it took was one email from Surface.
Condé Nast’s printer is called Quad/Graphics; Surface had an account in the name of a company called Quad Graph, the actual business of which, if existent, is unclear.
In early November, Condé Nast received an “Electronic Payment Authorization” form by email at its offices in … New York. The form appeared to have been sent by Quad/Graphics. The form requested that Condé Nast direct payments for Quad Graphics to the Quad Graph Account, and provided account information. Condé Nast filled out the form and returned it by facsimile from its offices in … New York to the facsimile number provided in the form. Following Condé Nast’s receipt of the “Electronic Payment Authorization” form, Condé Nast started making payments for Quad/Graphics bills by ACH transfer from a Condé Nast account with JPMorgan Chase Bank in New York to the Quad Graph Account.
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