By Arielle Mullen

Business e-mail compromise (BEC) is hardly a new problem, but the FBI is reporting a spike in a number of one type of BEC, called CEO fraud. In this scam, an employee (oftentimes the accountant) at a company will receive an email which appears to be from the CEO, asking them to make an emergency wire transfer.

The email will appear to come from the CEO’s address, and many times will be worded in a vernacular that echoes the real-life CEO, but will have been set up from a dummy email. In some cases the thieves have gone so far as to purchase domain names that are similar to the company’s, so they can send the emails from an address that have only one or two letters different from the CEO's. There are a few different things a company can do to guard themselves against this type of scam. 

  • Verify any changes in payment locations
  • Double check any emails that request a wire transfer to verify that the sender's email address is correct
  • Be cautious when posting personnel info to social media or company websites
  • Consider purchasing any internet domains that are similar to your company's
  • Know the habits of individuals who usually request wire transfers, and use extreme caution when those habits change
  • Use a two-step verification process for wire transfer payments
  • Make sure your network is as safeguarded as possible, contact one of our M&I consultants, and consider becoming a ClearIT Partner

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