CBI Prevents More Than $2 Million in Losses in Business Email Compromise Scam

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CBI Prevents More Than $2 Million in Losses in Business Email Compromise Scam

Post by ParkBull » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:05 am

CBI Prevents More Than $2 Million in Losses in Business Email Compromise Scam

(December 20, 2018—CBI—Lakewood, CO)— While scammers are working overtime to steal money from unsuspecting victims through various schemes, to include the Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam, Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) agents are focusing on preventing financial losses to victims.

CBI agents and analysts with the Identity Theft/Fraud & Cybercrimes Unit worked to prevent more than $2 million in losses from Colorado victims in the BEC scam in November alone. During the course of 2018, they have assisted more than 40 victims who sent funds in excess of $4.8 million in scams. The Unit assisted in the return of $4 million of that for victims.

BEC is a sophisticated scam targeting individuals and businesses who may have the need to make a wire transfer of funds, such as those occurring during a real estate transaction, although this type of fraud can occur in any industry where funds are routinely wired. In general, the BEC scheme starts off with the fraudsters compromising one or more of the email accounts of those involved in a transaction by use of malware or other methods. Then, by reading the email of those involved, the fraudsters can time their requests to unsuspecting victims to send money to a bank account they control.

Thousands (or even tens of thousands) of dollars wired by unsuspecting victims usually first heads to a stateside bank account, commonly set up through other fraudulent means, before eventually being transferred to overseas bank accounts where the funds are ultimately withdrawn. Because the suspects are outside of the United States and hide behind the anonymity that the Internet provides, it is challenging for local law enforcement to identify and nearly impossible to make arrests. CBI focuses on prevention of this scheme with targeted victim groups, but also aggressively works to freeze and return funds that have been sent.

“We are working closely with the targeted industry and with the many banking institutions to address this crime more effectively and efficiently,” said CBI Agent in Charge Ralph Gagliardi of the CBI Identity Theft /Fraud & Cybercrimes Unit.

AIC Gagliardi says the best way to fight this crime is to prevent it in the first place. “Education and training are the key elements, and our team at the CBI is committed to providing prevention and best practice information to Colorado citizens and businesses so they can avoid becoming a victim of BEC fraud.”

Prevention Tips for Citizens

· Scrutinize all emails, especially those requesting changes to wire instructions.

· Coordinate with the business beforehand to determine how money will be exchanged during a financial transaction.

· Always confirm requests for changes of wiring or payment instructions via phone or in person.

· Never be fooled by the fraudster’s sense of urgency.

Additionally, AIC Gagliardi says businesses play a pivotal role in prevention by incorporating their own policies, internal checks, and training for their staff as to how to detect possible BEC fraud.

The CBI is part of a national effort comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement to reduce the impact of this crime.

If you believe you’ve been a victim of the BEC, report the information to local law enforcement or the CBI.

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