BBB: Email Scams Have Cost Companies More Than $3 Billion in Recent Years - NBC New York
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BBB: Email Scams Have Cost Companies More Than $3 Billion in Recent Years

The Better Business Bureau revealed its findings in a new report on Thursday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    BBB Alerts Businesses to Email Scams

    It's the number one type of fraud targeting consumers and businesses in this country right now, but many people have never heard of it. NBC 5 Responds' Lisa Parker explains. 

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019)

    Officials from the Better Business Bureau announced the results of a startling new study that shows that email scams have cost organizations more than $3 billion since 2016.

    The scams, known as Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams, are a type of email phishing scam that targets people who pay bills for businesses, government entities, and non-profit organizations, according to the Bureau.

    In the scams, a person poses as a reliable source and uses a spoofed (similar to the way that phone marketing scams can use software to disguise their true phone numbers as ones from a person’s area code) or hacked email account to send messages to employees asking them to wire money, buy gift cards, or share private information for a seemingly plausible reason.

    That type of fraud has more than tripled over the last three years, according to the bureau, with nearly 60,000 complaints of BEC scams received by the bureau during that time.

    In one particularly costly case, Facebook and Google lost out on nearly $100 million during a high-profile scam in 2017.

    According to the report, more than 90 percent of the scammers involved in BEC cases are located in Nigeria.

    The Better Business Bureau offered several tips to protect company assets and proprietary information:

    -Take technical precautions such as multifactor authentication for email logins and other changes in email settings. Internet security training is also highly recommended.

    -Encourage lawmakers to explore stronger international cooperation among law enforcement agencies.

    -Set up email systems with stronger default security settings than those most companies use.

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    A sophomore at Maine's Cape Elizabeth High School was suspended for bullying after she left sticky notes in two girls bathrooms reading, "There’s a rapist in our school and you know who it is.” "It makes me angry that I'm being punished for bullying and a rapist isn't being punished for raping people," Aela Mansmann said.

    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019)

    If your company has been the victim of a BEC scam, it’s imperative to contact the FBI within 48 hours, as many financial losses can be reversed if a report is made during those critical early hours.