As more and more of our transactions take place online, privacy is vital when sending emails, checking our bank accounts, and sharing our personal information over the internet. Unfortunately, cybercriminals make their living by attacking security systems and using what they find to their advantage, stealing millions every year from individuals and businesses.
Compromised email information is big business for cyber predators. Between 2015 and 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) received nearly 2 million internet crime complaints that resulted in estimated losses of $10.2 billion. Despite high losses, victims are often told that there is nothing that can be done after a scammer has cheated them out of their life savings.
The attorneys at DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A. aren’t willing to accept defeat so easily. We offer free case evaluations for victims of Business Email Compromise (BEC) and Email Account Compromise (EAC) which have resulted in wire fraud. Contact us today to set up a consultation and get answers to your questions.
Email Compromise Affects Businesses as Well as Individuals
Every day, cybercriminals prey on new victims using email, the internet, and mobile technology. Some cybercriminals operate by collecting smaller payouts from many individuals, while others target businesses hoping for large payouts.
Florida residents and businesses are some of the most frequent victims of online fraud across the nation. According to figures from the FBI, Florida tied with Texas for the second-highest number of reported cybercrime victims across the United States in 2019, with Florida also ranking second in total amount of reported losses.
Floridians are at high risk of online fraud due to:
- Phishing and Pharming. Phishing emails, phone calls, and texts are unsolicited messages attempting to trick victims into revealing confidential information through fear tactics (such as claiming the victim’s computer has a virus) or promising a reward (such as announcing the victim has won a contest). Once they have the victim’s information, criminals can access bank accounts, company accounts, calendars, and other data that they can use to defraud the victim—and potentially use for future schemes.
- Spoofing. Spoofed messages contain deliberately falsified contact information (such as phone numbers, email addresses, or websites) that appear to be from a legitimate sender. Senders may claim to be from large companies like Apple or Comcast, or appear to be from a known contact but with slight variations on the address (for example, [email protected] vs. [email protected]). By looking like they’re from a trusted sender, they’re more likely to obtain a victim’s personal, financial, or login credentials.
- Personal Data Breach. No company is immune from security attacks. Retailers, creditors, banks, hospitals, and even local governments may suffer a data leak, allowing confidential user information to spill from a secure environment to an unauthorized location.
- Business Email Compromise. These scams specifically target businesses that routinely send wire transfer payments or work with foreign suppliers. Criminals may use any of the above methods or use other intrusion techniques (such as malware) to help them conduct an unauthorized funds transfer.
- Wire Fraud. Wire fraud can be an extremely lucrative scheme for criminals due to the high likelihood of large cash transfers taking place online. It’s especially common in the real estate industry, as lenders, real estate agents, home inspectors, and other agents require frequent deposits and payments from buyers and sellers. By sending fraudulent wire instructions to an unsuspecting buyer or seller, a scammer could receive tens of thousands of dollars in a single exchange.
Speed Is Key to Stopping Fraudulent Transactions!
The recovery of stolen funds is much more likely when victims act quickly. If you suspect that a cybercrime involving a fraudulent wire has taken place, you should immediately call your bank and request them to issue a recall notice, and contact the recipient’s bank to request an immediate freeze on the account.
If you haven’t been able to recover payment, a third party may be held liable for your losses. Contact the attorneys at DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A. today to set up a no-cost consultation on your case.