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◄  Back to Search Results  |  April 26, 2024

Essential tips for safeguarding your business from wire transfer fraud

banking wire transfer

In today's digital age, businesses are facing more threats than ever before. Among these, Business Email Compromise (BEC) stands out as one of the biggest threats to a business's financial security. Bad actors target businesses of all sizes and the scheme can result in significant financial losses if precautionary measures are not taken.

BEC scams involve fraudsters compromising a company’s computer network, and specifically their email accounts. Once they have access, they are able to impersonate employees of the company for unauthorized activities like sending payments or accessing confidential data. This makes it crucial for businesses to take proactive steps to protect themselves from falling victim to this type of fraud.


Scammer Red Flags and Tactics

Urgency and Pressure: One of the most common tactics used by scammers is creating a sense of urgency and pressure. They often use phrases like "urgent" or "time-sensitive" in their emails, hoping to catch the recipient off guard and encourage them to act quickly without thinking critically.

This rush tactic can be effective, as employees may feel compelled to comply with what they think is an urgent request from their superiors. Thus, it is essential for businesses to educate their employees on the dangers of acting hastily and instill a mindset of critical thinking when it comes to financial transactions.

Unexpected Requests: Another red flag to watch out for is unexpected requests. Scammers will often send emails requesting changes to payment processes, account information, or wire transfers under the guise of being a legitimate business partner or supplier. For example, the scammer may claim that an invoice was missed and urgently needs to be paid in order to prevent disruption of services.

These requests may seem reasonable at first glance but upon closer inspection, there may be slight differences in email addresses or other details that indicate it is not a genuine request. Businesses should always verify any unusual requests directly with business partners through multiple and trusted channels before taking any action.

Precautionary Measures

Verifying sender identity can help prevent falling victim to a BEC. Hackers often spoof email addresses or create fake accounts that closely resemble legitimate ones to trick recipients into believing they are a trusted sender. Therefore, it is crucial to double-check the email address for any typos or inconsistencies. If in doubt, businesses should contact the sender directly through a trusted channel such as a phone call or an in-person meeting to confirm the request.

Other precautionary measures businesses can take include implementing two-factor authentication for all financial transactions, regularly backing up important data, and conducting regular employee training on cybersecurity and fraud prevention.

Business Email Compromises continue to be a significant threat to businesses, both large and small. However, by being aware of common tactics used by scammers and implementing preventive measures, businesses can protect themselves against wire transfer fraud. Urging employees to think critically, being cautious of unexpected requests, and verifying sender identity are essential steps in safeguarding your business's financial well-being.

Additional Resources:

We encourage you to review the following resources for additional information on BEC: