We previously posted a blog on the emerging issue of real estate wire transfer fraud and how it is currently impacting Florida. See Real Estate Wire Transfer Blog. The FBI is now warning businesses of a related scheme. The FBI is referring to it as “Business E-Mail Compromise” or “BEC”. To date, the FBI estimates the scam has claimed over 2,000 victims resulting in losses totaling nearly $215 million since October 2013.
What is Business E-mail Compromise?
Fraudsters are using compromised e-mails to deceive employees of large corporations, causing them to wire large amounts of money to a fraudulent account.
The scams typically involve two different scenarios:
- Fraudsters identify e-mail accounts of high level business executives, and then compromise their accounts. Once the fraudsters have gained access to the e-mail accounts, they then impersonate the business executive, and send an e-mail requesting a wire transfer to a second employee within the company who handles such requests. Money is then wired to a fraudulent account designated by the fraudster.
2. Fraudsters identify a particular vendor or supplier that has a long standing relationship with a specific business. The fraudsters then send an e-mail to the business posing as the vendor or supplier, directing the business to wire funds for payment of an outstanding invoice. Money is then wired to a fraudulent account designated by the fraudster.
Suggestions to Avoid this Problem
First and foremost, companies should make their employees aware of the presence of these scams on a regular basis. Policies should also be put into effect which require employees to verbally confirm all wire transfer requests before initiating the transfer. Finally, companies need to consult network security specialists in order to make sure that their e-mail servers are properly protected.
Boatman Ricci has experience in handling cases which involve wire transfer fraud. If you have been impacted by a wire transfer fraud and are in need of assistance, either as a plaintiff or a defendant, please contact the Boatman Law Firm at 239-330-1494 for a consultation to discuss your case.
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