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You may have heard about the increasingly popular wire transfer scam where criminals impersonate a company executive or a known vendor to entice a business to transfer money to a fraudulent account. This scam is referred to as Business E-Mail Compromise (BEC) or masquerading and the FBI estimates it has resulted in losses over $1 billion last year.

Masquerading involves social engineering techniques with the scam typically being carried out through compromised e-mail accounts, or by gaining unauthorized access to a business’s computer system. The fraudsters impersonate someone you or your business knows, such as the CEO or CFO, or a vendor the company does business with. They phone or email someone in the company — for example, the controller — requesting a wire transfer. The controller, believing the email or phone call to be legitimate, contacts the bank to request the wire transfer.

At Bank of the West the safety and security of your assets is our highest priority. For more information about the BEC scam, please visit our blog.

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