Cryptocurrency hype spawns email attacks, FBI says
Business email compromise scams continue to grow and evolve, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Between July 2019 and December 2021, IC3 reported a 65% increase in global exposed losses, partly due to the increase in virtual business as a result of the pandemic. BEC or email account compromise targets government agencies, businesses and individuals responsible for transferring funds. Scammers trick email or text recipients by posing as a manager or company vendor and asking them to transfer money into fake accounts. In recent BEC scams, criminals send victims text messages that look like bank fraud alerts asking for confirmation that they transferred funds through a digital payment app. If the victim responds to the alert, the cybercriminal then calls from a number that appears to match the financial institution’s legitimate 1-800 support number. Thinking the caller is helping them reverse the fake money transfer, victims are tricked into sending payment to the criminal’s bank account.