This blog post differs from most of our educationally oriented marketing programs and content in that it’s somewhat self-serving, but we have a point to make.

The recent skyrocketing trend of the business email compromise (BEC) scam is taking both banks and businesses by storm. In fact, per an FBI alert, this scam has resulted in $1+B in losses worldwide, and that’s just what’s been reported.

Fraudsters do their homework and know who requests and approves wires. They check travel schedules so they can time their attack for when execs are unavailable to reconfirm the request. They then use social engineering techniques to trick business employees into submitting a wire transfer request. Some BEC attacks start with compromising and mining a company’s email system for examples of how wires are requested. So the fraudster can closely mimic prior payment amounts and the tone and style of the executive they’re impersonating.

Fraudsters have found a scheme that works, is fast, gives them access to an enormous amount of money, and, to date, is hardly being stopped. Just about everything a financial institution might do to validate the socially engineered request will come up “approved.” When the bank calls into their customer to verify the wire transfer, the requestor is absolutely sure that the wire request is legit. Indeed the business client often actually gets a bit annoyed at their FI for questioning the request. The bank processes the wire, and then, sometime later after the wire has already been sent, the customer calls back when they realize they have been scammed.

Certainly there must be some way to curb this scheme that’s robbing businesses and putting a stress on the customer – bank relationship. And there is!

We can tell when a wire is fraudulent. The perpetrators don’t know their victim’s prior wire behavior. Our Real-Time Wire Fraud Detection does. Real-Time Wire Fraud Detection compares new wire requests to earlier wire transfer activity to identify high-risk wires, such as those resulting from the BEC scam. We also arm the FI with specific details that make for a more productive call with the requestor.

We’ve been talking to many of our customers about this scam and we’re hearing a similar story from all of them: they have business customers who have been victimized, and they have successfully detected the suspicious wires with Real-Time Wire Fraud Detection . When they call to confirm, the business (hopefully) listens and realizes they’ve been duped, or they insist it’s legitimate and basically force the bank to process the payment, only to realize their mistake later.

If you have business accounts that have been victimize and you would like to improve your ability to protect them from these losses, plus save yourself the cost of trying to unwind the payments when your clients finally see the light, please contact us to learn more about Real-Time Wire Fraud Detection.