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Wire Transfer Fraud Continues to Put People and Businesses at Risk

EACCNY member BJM Consulting Associates want to make you aware of many wire transfer frauds targeting the general public and U.S. businesses.

Law enforcement officials have warned of a wire transfer fraud based on the receipt of a compromised email. This fraud is a sophisticated scam targeting businesses that normally work with foreign suppliers and regularly perform wire transfers. The business receives a spoofed email, allegedly from a known supplier, indicating there has been a change to the normal wire instructions. The change may include the beneficiary name, the beneficiary bank and/or the account number for the payment of invoices. In these instances, the vendor’s email has been compromised and the new wire instructions are fraudulent. The fraud is usually not identified until the legitimate payee reports non-payment.

In another similar fraud, an email account belonging to a Business Owner, CEO, CFO or other executive is compromised. A fraudulent email is then sent from the executive’s email account, instructing a company employee to initiate a wire transfer. Operating under the premise that the wire transfer is authorized by the company executive, the wire is initiated and sent to the fraudster.

In order to protect your personal account or your business from these wire transfer schemes, we strongly recommend that you or your employees verbally confirm all wire transfer requests or changes in wire transfer instructions received by email using phone numbers you have on file.

A Real-Life Tax Scam: This Is What IRS Phone Fraud Sounds Like

The Internal Revenue Service says it’s seeing a surge in phone scams. More than 5,000 victims have been duped out of $26.5 million since late 2015. It’s hard to know what exactly con artists are thinking when they target their victims. But now, we know what they are saying.

Before we get started, keep this in mind: The IRS says it doesn’t call about outstanding taxes without first mailing you a bill.

Below are descriptions of two typical technics that fraudsters usually use posing themselves as IRS agents:

I IRS Call Center

An unidentified “IRS” man speaks and tells that his office has audited your taxes — from 2009 to 2014 — and there’s been a miscalculation. You owes money. The local authorities with an arrest warrant will come to your home any minute now. Your property will be seized, and you face federal imprisonment of up to five years. Another approach – immediate payment is mandatory to make in order to avoid law trial and process of prosecution.

II Pay In Cash or Money Order

The call center operator wants cash. And he guides his target through what is clearly a routine drill, playing on fear and secrecy. He warns you to not disclose to anyone at work — not your boss, not your friends, not anyone — that you are in trouble. Or, the money order instructions should be given to you over the phone.

A Takeaway: If you get a strange message, one way to handle it is to not hand over information right away. Hang up and call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.

© 2016 BJM Consulting Associates – a member of the EACCNY