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FOX43 Finds Out: Listening to your "boss" could get you in trouble

When your boss emails you asking for a favor, you want to be a good employee. What if a scammer is posing as your boss? FOX43 Finds Out.

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. — Our work email inbox can sometimes be flooded with messages we may not always read.

When a message comes from your boss though, you may be more likely to open it.

Being a good employee is one reason a Cumberland County woman is now out hundreds of dollars.

FOX43 Finds Out

Police say the woman in Lower Allen Township got an email from who she thought was her boss, asking her to buy three $300 Target gift cards.

Then take pictures of the gift cards, so he could have the numbers.

"The employee did that, it was a new job," said Lower Allen Township Police Lt. Gregory Thomas.

This is the man who police say used those gift cards at a Target near Philadelphia.

That is not that woman's boss.

RELATED: Police seek help in identifying suspected scammer

Lt. Thomas said, "Then she spoke with her boss and found out the boss has never requested that."

Police say that woman isn't the only one to fall for this sort of scam.

A few days later, the same thing happened to another person in Lower Allen Township.

Impostor scams are on the rise

Today, it's really easy to find a company's organizational chart online with email addresses.

There it is in black and white, the boss, their name, and yours too.

Scammers can then spoof the email to look like it's coming from a manager when in reality it could be coming from somewhere, anywhere in the world.

"Most of the time it's going out of the country and once it's out of the country, there's not much we can do about it," said Lt. Thomas.

This is what is called an impostor scam.

According to data from the Federal Trade Commission, that kind of scam is on the rise

Last year, almost 20,000 people reported impostor scams to the FTC.

It is the second most reported scam in the commonwealth, behind identity theft.

There is only one real way around this scam right now.

The Lower Allen Township Police Lieutenant said, "Call the company back, call the employer back and say 'Hey I got this request, is this correct?"

Just make sure you're calling the real number, not one listed in the scam email.

Know the red flags

The fact that your boss would be asking you to buy a gift card, should also be a red flag.

Thought the scam may not always involve a gift card.

RELATED: FTC: New gift card scam preys on worshipers

Remember, these crooks want your information any way they can get it.

You may think that you can probably tell the difference between a real email from your boss and a fake one.

However, these scammers can even log into your boss's real email account.

Again, your best bet is to pick up the phone or ask the person in person.

The better business bureau has a lot of information on this time of scam.

If you have a consumer issue you want Jackie to look into, FOX43 wants to find out! Let her know by sending a message on Facebook or email FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com.