One CEO avoided being involved in a wire transfer scam, and his tips will help you keep your money safe.
Why would thieves risk their lives robbing banks when they can just trick some uninformed business owner into basically handing over thousands of dollars? Lately, thieves have been fooling businesspeople into just giving up their corporate funds. It’s known as “CEO fraud” or “business email compromise,” and has become a rather popular trick. The thief pretends to be an executive via email, and some recipients will, at times, transfer large amounts of money.
In the U.S. alone over the past two years, as much as $750 million has been lost to wire transfer fraud, according to the FBI.
Know the Signs of Fraud
The thief will attempt to contact you through email. The thief will usually pretend to be some person of importance from his pretend company, frequently the CFO or the CEO.
In this email they will generally:
- Ask your business to wire a large sum of money to a bank
- Provide wiring instructions
- Ask for confirmation when the process has been complete
- Follow up with other emails asking about the transaction
The email may contain a fake conversation that you apparently had at some point in the past. If you don’t remember this conversation, that’s most likely because it never happened. They are hoping that you will be too proud to call them on their bluff.
Always use approvals, cross check with accounting, use multifactor authentication, and take domain names similar to your business. For example, if your business website is importantbusiness.com, you may also want to buy imp0rtantbusiness.com where the “o” is replaced by a zero.
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