Operation reWired, a coordinated law enforcement effort to disrupt Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams around the world, resulted in 281 arrests in 10 countries, including Nigeria (167), the United States (74), and Turkey (18). Nearly $3.7 million was seized from the suspects, in addition to the recovery of approximately $118 million in fraudulent wire transfers.
Once an outlier, the threat of BEC schemes has rapidly increased in recent years; between June 2016 and July 2019, FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received victim complaints regarding 166,349 domestic and international incidents, with a total exposed dollar loss of more than $26 billion. To mitigate this threat, it is important that companies continue to educate their employees on cyber best practices to remain vigilant and spot irregularities.
BEC aka EAC (short for Email Account Compromise) fraud schemes are scams carried out by crooks who will wire out funds without authorization to bank accounts they control via computer intrusion or after tricking key employees into doing it using social engineering. This type of attack targets small, medium, and large businesses alike, as well as individuals, and it has a high success rate due to the fraudsters' choice to pose as someone that the employees trust like a CEO or a business partner. Overall, BEC victims have lost over $1,2 billion during 2018 according to an Internet Crime report published on April 2019 by FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).