What Your Business Needs to Know About Wire Transfer Fraud



The FBI found that wire transfer scams affected businesses to the tune of $5.2 billion worldwide in 2016. Considering how advanced technology has become, it’s no wonder that these types of attacks have become more sophisticated.

Every type of computer device is at risk. Some of these scams target works by posing as a company executive. Other scams work as fake remote IT-businesses that end up installing harmful software on your computer under the guise of good will.

Whatever the way is, scammers are trying to get malware on your computer. That’s why you have to stop every situation before it starts. Understand how these kinds of scams work and what you can do to stop them. Next, know how to prevent them and what to do if you've fallen for them. This is what to do if your business has made a fraudulent wire transfer.

How to Easily Spot a Scam Before it Starts

The first red flag for a strange scam is getting a quizzical email that appears to be addressed from the CEO or CFO of a company. The email then states that an emergency wire transfer is needed or a deal that is “confidential” is being facilitated.

What happens is that the email address is spoofed in order to mimic an email address that you might be familiar with. But a quick, hard look can make a huge difference. For example, the CEO of a company might have the email RSmith02@Business.com, which stands for his name. A scammer can acquire that info and create a fake email address that’s eerily similar, such as RSmith002@Business.com.

If you think about it, the situation is already fishy. Why would an executive or CEO need an emergency wire transfer? The urgency in the email is meant to scare workers into sending the money quickly without stopping to consider the logic of the situation. Sometimes phishing techniques are also used but it’s not as common anymore.

Why This Scam Works

This scam consistently works because people are scared to be in trouble, and each scammer thoroughly researches who they are going to target. The majority of workers respect “authoritative” figures so if it seems like their help is direly needed, naturally they will want to help.

Sometimes scammers will ask for smaller amounts of money (instead of millions) so it’s more of a believable setup. Fraudsters are going to use websites and emails that could pass off as normal but if you gave it a second look, it’d be easy to spot red flags, says Lexology.

The bank account the money gets transferred to is often based in Hong Kong, so far away that no one can get access to it. It is unfortunately not likely that fraudulently sent funds will be able to be recovered. Because of this, purchasing tail insurance can help recoup the losses of those transferred funds.

About Axis Insurance

At Axis Insurance Services, we aim to help our customers identify their exposures and protect themselves. Founded in 1999, we offer insurance programs to a wide variety of professionals and industries including attorneys, real estate, healthcare, architects, and more, and also have a wholesale division. We pride ourselves on offering flexible insurance coverage tailored specifically to each customer’s needs. To learn more about our solutions, contact us at (201) 847-9175 to speak with one of our professionals.

cyber security, cybercrime, Wire transfer fraud, Phishing Emails, Cyber Scams

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