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31
Aug
2018
Business Email Compromise (BEC) Scams

Business Email Compromise (BEC) Scams

Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams try to get a company’s employees to perform a function that can transfer money to a criminals account or send sensitive information to a criminal that can be used for crimes, such as identity theft. Scammers can convince business managers and employees to wire thousands of dollars to a bank in a foreign country where money will be quickly moved and never seen again. Many companies fall victim during tax season when scammers make a request for employee’s W-2 Forms pretending to be the CEO.

HOW DO BEC SCAMS WORK AND WHY ARE THEY SO SUCCESSFUL?

Attackers gain access to the CEO’s email where they study the company from within. They will then figure out how to attack for the best result. The money is then sent to accounts overseas that are disguised as fake businesses where the money is quickly pulled and unable to be returned. BEC scams have become so problematic, that the FBI has started to warn businesses about these attacks. The FBI’s total of damages from the reported attacks just surpassed three billion dollars. Companies that handle wire-transactions are the most common victims but are not the only victims reported.

DON’T FALL VICTIM

Here's how to avoid a BEC attack:

  • -Verify changes in payment instructions to vendors and suppliers.
  •  
  • -Maintain hard-copy files of vendor contact information for those who are authorized to approve changes in payment instructions.
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  • -Train finance and HR team staff.
  •  
  • -Limit the number of employees within a business who have the authority to approve and/or conduct wire transfers.
  •  
  • -Use two-factor authentication methods.
  •  
  • -Use out-of-band authentication to verify wire-transfer requests that are seemingly coming from executives.
  •  

If you are asked to do something out of the ordinary, make sure you double or even triple-check before carrying out suspicious instructions, even if it comes from a senior ranking management official.

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