Be wary of business scams, ISP Putnamville warns

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

PUTNAMVILLE -- The Criminal Investigations Division at the Putnamville Post is warning area businesses of an increase in scams targeting company bank accounts which often results in financial losses, even massive at times.

According to the FBI, from October 2013 through February 2016, law enforcement received reports from 17,642 victims resulting in more than $2.3 billion in losses.

The scam works this way: Schemers extensively research employees who manage money and use language specific to the company they are targeting, then request a wire fraud transfer using dollar amounts that appear legitimate.

To complete the act, criminals spoof company e-mail or use social engineering to assume the identity of the CEO, company attorney, or trusted vendor.

Detectives at the Putnamville Post are currently conducting one investigation with similarities to this scam and have referred one other to the jurisdiction of that complainant.

"Scammer e-mails requesting the wire transfer appear authentic and unless the chief financial officer double-checks with personal contact, the scam is successful. Exercise extensive safety protocols when electronically transferring funds," Putnamville District Investigative Commander First Sgt. Jason Fajt explained.

There are various versions of this scam.

Consider the following tips:

-- Be wary of e-mail-only wire transfer requests and requests involving urgency.

-- Use the phone to verify legitimate business partners.

-- Be cautious of mimicked e-mail addresses.

-- Practice multi-level authentication.

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