Business email compromise scams cost $132 million

By Αmy Sarcevic
Wednesday, 24 June, 2020

Business email compromise scams cost $132 million

Business email compromise (BEC) scams cost companies $132 million last year, representing the highest losses incurred by any type of scam, according to the ACCC’s Targeting Scams Report.

In the same period, Scamwatch alone received almost 6000 reports from businesses, with $5.3 million in reported losses.

False billing, which includes business email compromises, was the most commonly reported scam, but online shopping frauds — where a business attempts to buy equipment online and the product never arrives — were also popular.

ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said these attacks have the potential to be financially harmful, even to large corporations —– with individual losses scaling as high as $200,000 and averaging at $11,000.

“Scammers are increasingly using email scams to target businesses of all sizes. It is important to have strong processes in place for verifying and paying accounts, and businesses should ensure their systems have up-to-date antivirus software,” Keogh said.

“Scammers intercept legitimate invoices and change the details to include fraudulent payment information. The recipient will pay the invoice as normal and not realise they have been scammed. [They also] impersonate the CEO of a company and request staff transfer funds to them for a variety of reasons, such as to purchase gift cards as a surprise for other staff.

“It is important for businesses and their staff to know that these scams are out there so they can learn how to avoid them.”

Image credit: © Popov

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