CEO Business Fraud
Recently several Bozeman employees of local businesses have been targeted in a national internet scam known as CEO Fraud. CEO Fraud is a scam in which cybercriminals spoof company email accounts and impersonate executives to try and fool an employee into executing unauthorized wire transfers, or sending out confidential tax information.
The FBI calls this type of scam "Business Email Compromise" and defines BEC as “a sophisticated scam targeting businesses working with foreign suppliers and/or businesses that regularly perform wire transfer payments. The scam is carried out by compromising legitimate business e-mail accounts through social engineering or computer intrusion techniques to conduct unauthorized transfers of funds.”
In the time period from January 2015 to June 2016, the FEI reported a 1300% rise in losses from this type of fraud. Most victims are in the US (all 50 states), but companies in 100 other countries have also reported incidents. While the fraudulent transfers have been sent to 79 countries, most end up in China and Hong Kong. Unless the fraud is spotted within 24 hours, the chances of recovery are small.
The Bozeman Police Department urges citizens to be aware of tis scam and all internet phishing type scams. Never send money to any unknown entity and always follow up and verify (preferably in person) with any institution or person requesting your personal information or money.