Sophisticated Scams Causing Cyber Crimes to Rise

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The FBI just released their 2019 Internet Crime Report which included an aggregation of internet crimes and complaints reported during the year. Not surprisingly, the number of complaints, almost 500,000 of them, was the most ever reported. The most frequent complaints were phishing emails, non-payment scams, and extortion attempts.

Social Engineering Fraud, referred to as Business Email Compromise (BEC) in the FBI’s 2019 Internet Crime Report, accounted for $1.7 billion in losses during 2019 through almost 24,000 complaints. Most notably, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported a large increase in schemes involving the diversion of payroll funds. This scheme involves an internal email to HR or Payroll requesting a change to an employee’s direct deposit bank account. This diversion is made directly to a bank account controlled by a perpetrator. This is not a new scheme but rather one that was not used as frequently in years past. Many companies have reported significant control improvements regarding outside vendors or clients but many still lack the proper controls when dealing with internal fraud attempts.

CALL BACK! Having a predetermined phone number already set-up with your verified contacts is an easy, cheap, and extremely effective control to implement. When a request comes in for any type of payment change of transfer of funds, speak directly to your verified contact using the predetermined phone number. If they do not answer, leave a voicemail and wait for them to return your call prior to initiating the transfer. A legitimate truly urgent request will likely result in a prompt callback.

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