The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that businesses lost over $6.9 billion to cybercrime in 2021, an increase of nearly $2 billion since 2020. One scam that’s continuing to grow more prevalent is wire transfer fraud. This occurs when a scammer sends a fake email or reproduces a website and uses deceptive methods to get people to send money for nonexistent products or services. How do these scams work?
Business Email Compromise
Many professionals rely on email to conduct business. According to the FBI, business email compromise (BEC) or email account compromise (EAC) takes advantage of this fact and has become one of the most financially damaging online crimes.
For businesses, wire fraud may involve a criminal impersonating a company employee or trusted vendor. The email appears to come from a known source with an urgent request to wire funds. Believing the request to be legitimate, the recipient complies.
Protecting Your Business
In addition to the financial ramifications of wire fraud, it can impact business operations, payments systems and your reputation. What steps can help safeguard your business?
- Verify all payment and purchase requests in person or by calling the company
- Be suspicious of any changes to wiring instructions and confirm they’re legitimate
- Don’t click on anything in an unsolicited email or text asking you to verify an account
- Never open an email attachment or download anything from an unknown source
- Secure devices and accounts with strong passwords and multi-factor authentication
- Be careful with information you share on social media to prevent a scammer from guessing your password or answers to security questions
- Educate employees on what to look for in a fraudulent email or text
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