US$2.3 billion lost in just over a two-year period!
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States has issued a warning of a “dramatic” rise in “business email compromise” scams (BEC) that has resulted in huge monetary losses in U.S. cities.
From October 2013, through to February 2016, law enforcement reportedly received calls from 17,642 victims, which tallied to over US$2.3 billion in losses, the FBI said in a press release late last week.
According to the FBI, the fraudsters go to great lengths to spoof company email or use social engineering to assume the identity of the CEO, other high-level corporate executives, a company attorney or trusted vendor. They research and analyze staff who manage money and use lingo specific to the company they’re targeting, then request a wire fraud transfer using dollar amounts that “lend legitimacy” to their requests.
Most victims report using wire transfers as a standard method of transferring funds for business purposes; however, some victims have reported using cheques as their payment method. The fraudsters can use the methods most often associated with their victim’s traditional business practices.
There are a number of versions of the scams, and victims vary from large firms to tech companies, small businesses, and even non-profit organizations. Many times, the fraudsters target businesses that work with foreign suppliers.
The FBI said that globally law enforcement has received complaints from victims in each U.S. state, and in a minimum of 79 countries.
Since January 2015, the FBI has witnessed a 270% increase in recognized victims and exposed loss. For example, in Arizona, the average loss per scam is between US$25,000 and US$75,000.
In the U.S., victims can file a complaint, regardless of the dollar loss, to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Supporting Article Research Source: Canadian Underwriter