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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.


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.


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.
  • -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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    Stamatis, Co-owner Twisted Lily, Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary
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    Andy Lynch / North Star Marketing
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    Greg Niccolai / Madison Insurance
  • navitend’s approach to customer service is greatly appreciated here.  Ensuring that we are well protected from a technology standpoint provides us with peace of mind to continue our day to day operations and that they are looking out for our company's best interest. 

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    Bob Bradley, President, Bradley Graphics
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    Lawrence Wolfin / Textol Systems, Inc.
  • “Navitend’s expertise helped our firm over the past year to effectively elevate our I.T. game, powering our website into a highly interactive tool. Well done to Frank and his team!”  

    Chuck Steege, CFP®, CEP, President, SFG Wealth Planning Services, Inc.
  • "Thanks so much!  You are a class act!  
    You and your team have really done an excellent job on this!"

    Steve Van Ooteghem, The C12 Group in Houston, Texas
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    Luke Wolters / Luke Wolters Tax Consultants