It's every company's nightmare: Friday afternoon and your stock starts tanking without explanation.
Turns out you've fallen victim to an elaborate hoax claiming your chief executive has quit after admitting making up billions in profits.
Sound far fetched? That's precisely what happened to one of Italy's biggest banks.
CNN Money reports that at about 9:30 am ET, emails started dropping into reporters' in-boxes. The messages included the stunning claim that Intesa Sanpaolo CEO Carlo Messina had resigned after manipulating the bank's earnings to the tune of $2bn.
'This press release is totally false and groundless', Intesa Sanpaolo said in a statement.
The hoax mail included a link to a website that looked very similar to the bank's, and an email address for the press team at Intesa Sanpaolo - email@example.com - that was almost identical to the real thing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To access the complete CNN Money article hit the link below: