Protect Your Texas Business From Wire Fraud Scams
Ransomware has built a menacing reputation in recent years. It’s easy to understand why: ransomware attacks have crippled businesses and cost serious financial damage. It’s not only important, but necessary, to be adequately protected when it comes to cyberattacks like ransomware, but don’t let your guard when it comes to phishing and wire fraud.
The definition of wire fraud is broad, but it refers to any fraudulent or deceitful scheme to secure money or property electronically via interstate wires. These attacks can come by email, text message, TV broadcast, or phone call. Every year, businesses lose millions of dollars to bad actors who use a wire transfer scam known as Business Email Compromise (BEC).
Business Email Compromise is a well-calculated and researched threat. Bad actors are known to go after businesses that are known to perform wire transfers or have global partners. If your business could be at risk, we’re here to help you protect your business against wire transfer scams.
What would you do if you received an email from one of the business leaders requesting that you make a wire transfer of funds? What would you do if you received an email from one of the employees requesting you make a change to their direct deposit information?
If you are the one who has the responsibility of fulfilling these types of requests, you may not give it a second thought. However, with the advancements in technology and the increased sophistication of bad actors, you have to give everything a second thought. You have to stop and think before you proceed. Wire transfer scams are on the rise, and businesses are losing thousands, even millions of dollars because of an email address that has been spoofed or compromised.
What Types of Texas Businesses Can Be Victims of Wire Fraud?
Texas businesses of all sizes and industries can be victims of wire transfer scams. With thousands of wire fraud victims in Texas, wire fraud transfer scams also impact customers, employees, suppliers, and financial institutions.
There are several ways wire transfer scams can happen. A bad actor can:
- Hack multiple email accounts and contact lists from employees, and use one or more of those email accounts to request invoice payments from suppliers
- Hack into one of your executive’s email accounts and use that email to request wire transfers
- Contact your business by email or phone to change the payment on an invoice
Regardless of the method the bad actor uses, the money will land in his/her account.
How Does This Happen?
Bad actors target the email accounts of both business executives and employees. Either tactic will enable the bad actors to access the accounts of those individuals and wait for the best time to take over, such as when those employees leave for the holiday break or leave town for a business trip.
There is also the possibility the bad actor will spoof the email address and change where emails are sent when they are replied to. After the email has been spoofed, the bad actor will email someone within the business who has the responsibility of handling funds (including making wire transfers)and asking that employee to process a transaction.
How Can You Protect Your Texas Business?
Although wire transfer scams continue to be a major issue, there are ways your business can work to protect funds and confidential data, such as:
- Look closely to verify the email address when you receive a wire transfer request.
- Check for spelling errors and grammatical errors
- Call the person who is requesting the transfer directly to verify that the request is legitimate
- Follow your workplace verification procedures
- Trust your instinct if you think a transfer request is not legitimate
- Inform management or IT if you are suspicious of a request
- Look at the real email address before replying
- Delete spam emails
- Do not open attachments if you’re not familiar with the sender
While cybercriminals are relentless in their attacks on businesses of all sizes, you can take action to protect your business from wire transfer fraud.
Spot the Warning Signs
To avoid wire fraud scams, businesses have to become more familiar with the techniques of cybercriminals. Here are some common warning signs that should have you second-guessing the wire transfer request you received:
- The wire transfer request is labeled as Urgent
- You receive a wire transfer request near the end of the business day
- The wire transfer request amount is not consistent with previous requests you have received
- You receive a wire transfer request from an email address you do not recognize
- The individual requesting payment is using an alternative payment method
- The individual requesting the payment does not want to communicate via phone or web video
- The return address is incorrect
- The email message contains misspellings or phrases that are not used within your business
Texas Businesses Need a Multi-Layered Security Approach
Texas businesses need adequate system controls within the IT portion of their business to help identify weaknesses that could expose it to risk. Wire transfer fraud attacks can come from anywhere across the ground. Protect your business by combining advanced tools, best practices, and high-level support to create a better security approach. With a multi-layered security approach, you will improve your chances of achieving the standard measures for cybersecurity, including
- Fraud Monitoring
- Multi-Level Authentication
- Secure Email and Web Browsing
- Adaptive security architecture
When implemented properly, a multi-layered security approach can help you reduce your business’s risk of falling victim to wire transfer fraud. Texas business leaders have to become tougher. Business-wide training, smart verification policies and procedures, and even simulated drills will have a major impact on protecting your business. This is not something you will want to put off because many businesses have been unable to recover from scams and cyberattacks.
In addition to protecting your business with comprehensive policies, strategies, and education, a multi-layered security approach can strengthen your network and reduce the likelihood that your business will be the next victim of wire fraud. An IT support partner that understands your business’s risk exposure will know what security protection needs to be put in place to mitigate those risks.
To learn more about how you can protect your business from fraud, contact Corptek today. We are ready to help you build or reinforce a multi-layered security platform.