It wasn’t a very smart way to impersonate someone like Elon Musk

Elon Musk is one of those people that you either like or hate with a passion. And, be that as it may, there’s one thing we can all agree on – he has a lot on his plate. He’s working on that merger with Solar City, managing to secure funds for Tesla, and now he’s dealing with the explosion of that SpaceX rocket. Well, you can now add corporate espionage to the list of things Musk is dealing with as he has just filed suit against the Chief Financial Officer of Quest Integrity Group, Todd Katz, for impersonation.

So far, Mr. Katz has been the only officer of QIG that was mentioned in the suit, and Musk is apparently seeking an undisclosed amount of financial compensation for Katz’s alleged actions. So, how did Katz try to impersonate Musk? Well, it’s actually quite funny. According to Forbes, the oil industry exec apparently created a fake email account and attempted to obtain confidential company information. To be more specific, he was attempting to learn about Tesla’s financial projections and car pre-order numbers.

The e-mail was sent to Tesla’s CFO – Jason Wheeler – shortly after an earnings call with analysts. According to Forbes, the e-mail used was “elontesla@yahoo.com“ and contained this message:

“why you so cautious w Q3/4 gm guidance on call? also what are your thoughts on disclosing M3 res#? Pros/cons from ir pov? what is your best guess as to where we actually come in on q3/4 deliverables. honest guess? no bs. thx 4 hard work prepping 4 today

Em”

QIG is an oil pipeline services company that is based in Seattle. The company provides services for major oil companies like BP, Chevron, and ExxonMobil, among others. There’s no word as to whether or not QIG’s clients had anything to do with Katz’s alleged actions, but considering the effect electric vehicles and hybrids could have on the oil industry, it wouldn’t be surprising.

Why it Matters

First off, you’ve got to find the humor in the address that was allegedly used in an attempt to obtain this information. It has been reported that it is similar to an address that Musk used in the past, but something tells me it was probably painfully obvious that Musk wouldn’t use such an e-mail to communicate or request inside company information. On top of that, the e-mail was sent to Tesla’s CFO, who most likely communicates quite often with Musk via e-mail and was probably able to spot the fake e-mail right away. It really makes you wonder, however, just how far the situation really goes. Was Katz operating on his own or did someone from one of the oil companies put him up to it?

Source: Forbes

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