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Stop BEC Scams Before They Start with New Guide

  • By Stop BEC Scams Before They Start with New Guide
  • Published: 6/21/2016
Despite multiple warnings from the FBI and widespread news coverage, business email compromise (BEC) scams continue to deceive executives. The FBI reported in August 2015 that there had been a 270 percent increase in BEC victims since the start of the year, and its Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) had compiled statistics on more than 7,000 U.S. victimized companies—with total dollar losses exceeding $740 million—since it started tracking the email scams in late 2013. According to the 2016 AFP Payments Fraud & Control Survey, half of the respondents reported having been subjected to attempted and/or actual BEC fraud.

Trust, But Verify: How to Stop Business Email Compromise Attacks, a new AFP Payments Security Guide underwritten by MUFG Union Bank, examines the basic steps companies can take today to minimize—if never completely eliminate—BEC scams. It focuses on whaling attacks and explores how cybercriminals go about constructing persuasive messages, including those harboring malware that can help fraudsters create even more convincing emails.

Cybercriminals have so far proven themselves to be one step ahead of their victims, and that is likely to continue. No defense technology is 100 percent effective, and given the increasing volume of detailed data available to profile targets, fraudsters will almost certainly construct scams that will catch executives off-guard at some point. Thus organizations should pursue a multi-faceted approach to defending themselves against BEC attacks.

Trust, But Verify: How to Stop Business Email Compromise Attacks is available on AFP’s Payments Guide page.

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