Business email scams to have increased in 2020

A new report from the FBI revealed that business email compromise scams cost American organizations over US$1.8 billion in 2020.

Indeed, the agency declared that it had received 19,369 complaints categorized as business email compromise (BEC)/email account compromise (EAC), meaning that individuals are persuaded to transfer funds to accounts controlled by criminals. In order to do so, the attacker compromises a legitimate business email account through social engineering or hacking, making the scam even more profitable.

In 2020, hackers have started to sophisticated more and more their techniques, hence leading to a rise in BEC/EAC complaints involving identity theft and funds being converted to cryptocurrency.

Moreover, it was reported that the agency’s IC3 received 791,790 complaints of suspected internet crime in 2020, with losses exceeding $4.2 billion. The main crimes identified were phishing scams, non-payment/non-delivery scams, and extortion.

The FBI thus advises victims to notify the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and their financial institution as there is a way that money can be recovered. Indeed, out of the 1,300 incidents last year, the agency was able to freeze 82% of the funds.