Wire fraud is a type of fraud that involves the use of telecommunications or the internet. Criminals may commit wire fraud with phone calls, faxes, emails, text messages, social media contact, or other online platforms. In many cases, hackers monitor activity for weeks after breaking into company systems to determine the best way to steal money.
Steps to Take After You Are Victimized by a Fraudulent Wire Transfer
Wire fraud is commonly used to illegally redirect funds during business transactions, such as completing real estate sales or making large payments to vendors. If you have reason to believe a wire transfer fraud has occurred, it is vital that you:
- Call the bank(s). If the transaction took place just hours ago, you may be able to stop the transfer of funds from one financial institution to another. Contact both the sending bank the recipient bank to request a stop payment at both ends of the transaction. Even if the funds can’t be recovered, the banks may be able to help the authorities in tracing the money.
- Report the incident to the FBI. The faster you file a complaint with the U.S. Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), the sooner your local FBI field office can start a Financial Fraud Kill Chain to stop the transfer of funds.
- Talk to an attorney. A lawyer with experience in business email compromise greatly improves your chances of seeing a recovery on your losses. Our legal team can determine what actions you should take, who may be liable, and how to prevent these actions from happening in the future.
- Investigate the breach. Your employer may need to evaluate your emails and computer systems to determine how the hackers got access to the company, both to determine liability and improve online security.
- Evaluate third-party actions. There is often more a bank, contractor, or business could have done to prevent the security breach from happening. We can examine whether the actions or omissions of a holding company, financial institution, vendor, title company, or other participant could have allowed the hacker to gain access.
- Examine your insurance policies. Companies and individuals may have insurance coverage to pay for wire fraud losses, but it may take the help of an attorney to get the payment you need.
The attorneys at DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A. offer free case evaluations for victims of wire fraud. Contact us today to set up a consultation and see how we can help you.