FBI report highlights around $43 billion have been lost to business related scam emails

Between the years 2016 and 2019, IC3 revealed that $43,321,749,946 were lost to scammers from various regions around the world. There were exactly 241,206 reports of domestic as well as international cases by victims.

FBI also stated that the rate of these BEC (Business Email Compromise) scams increases each year. Between July 2019 and December 2021 there has been a 65% increase worldwide in the money lost to the BEC scams.

FBI further explains that mainly the countries of Thailand and Hong Kong ranked the charts of most dollars and funds stolen by fraudulent means. This data is for the year 2021 where China also fell in ranking to 3rd place from its previous position at 2nd place last year. Mexico and Singapore were ranking 4th and 5th respectively.

Before this update, it was speculated that between the same time periods of June 2016 and September 2019, $26 billion were lost. Reports from PSA have updated that number to $43 billion as mentioned before.

According to the report, BEC scams in the year 2021 were ranked the highest for the success in stealing money worth 2 billion US dollars. Several businesses and users became victims to these BEC attacks and lost a lot of money.

You might be wondering what BEC scams are exactly? Basically, BEC scams are scams which are directed towards email accounts of various businesses. They employ various tactics such as hacking, phishing and social networking to scam the businesses. These scammers take the payments of the business-controlled email accounts and redirect them into their own accounts.

Any business can be targeted by these scams regardless of how small or large it is. The worst part about this is that these scammers have a high rate of succeeding because they impersonate a business’s supervisor or a business partner when scamming people.

But PSA also says that this scam is not always directed towards stealing funds from a business or an individual. These BEC scams may also fool people into giving them personal information such as passwords or crypto wallets.

To stay safe from these types of scams, you can enable two factor authentication, ensure that the URL of the outbound link is credible, double check the domain name and refrain from giving any type of login information.

FBI has mentioned that if someone does fall victim to these BEC scams, they should immediately retract all their funds by contacting the bank.

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