The FBI has issued a warning for increasing levels of a type of fraud known as “business email compromises” that target companies that regularly wire funds to foreign third parties. In this scheme, an accounting officer is targeted with an email that appears to be originating from a company executive. In fact, upon closer inspection one would note that the email is just slightly off (i.e. one letter difference from the purported sender’s actual email). The email itself provides instructions to wire funds, as provided in this example from the FBI:
Process a wire transfer for $277,281.49 to the attached account information. This should be coded to Professional Services. Send me the confirmation when done.
In contrast to other schemes, the perpetrators often use subject specific information that mimics legitimate transaction requests and even coincide with actual executive travel. The Internet Crime Complaint Center has estimated that losses associated with this scheme total over $200 million in just over a year.