Sacramento FBI Encourages Business Community to Guard Against and Report Business Email Compromise

SACRAMENTO—During National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Sacramento Field Office is reminding the business community about business email compromise (BEC). BEC is a sophisticated scam targeting anyone who performs legitimate electronic payments such as wire or automated clearing house transfers. In a typical BEC scheme, the victim receives an email they believe is from a company they normally conduct business with, but this specific email requests funds be sent to a new account or otherwise alters the standard payment practices.

BEC has been a major concern for years. In 2019, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) recorded 23,775 complaints and more than $1.7 billion in losses due to BEC fraud schemes. In April 2020, the IC3 issued a public service announcement alerting the business community about an anticipated rise in BEC due to uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, IC3 had seen an increase in BEC frauds targeting municipalities purchasing personal protective equipment or other supplies needed in the fight against COVID-19.

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