French supermarket chain Intermarché has lost 15 million euro to a group of swindlers, after they had convinced an unsuspecting employee to wire the money to a Polish bank account, pretending to be the company's CEO.
An employee at Intermarché's Parisian main office transferred several million euros to a Polish bank account for several days in a row, promising the "utmost discretion". The company did try to recuperate its money, but the crooks had already emptied out the bank account and erased their tracks, so Intermarché was forced to call in the help of the Criminal Investigation Department.
It is not the first time swindlers have approached employees in the financial department of large companies pretending to be CEO in order to get their hands on money. Over the past few years, some 700 large companies in France fell victim to the ruse, among them Michelin (which lost 1.6 million euro) and Naf-Naf (over 1 million euro), leading to a loss of 350 million euro. The French have even invented a nice name for this particular phenomenon: "Arnaque au Président", which translates to "Presidential swindle".