The five red flags of wire fraud

The five red flags of wire fraud

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Cybercriminals are getting more aggressive in targeting your money through wire transfer requests. The number of attempts is on the rise, and scammers are getting bolder and more sophisticated in their efforts to trick you into wiring funds.

Increasingly, the tool of choice for these criminals is email.

“Many of the cases we are seeing involve social engineering or phishing for confidential information,” said Briane Grey, corporate security manager for City National Bank.

Scammers may pose as a colleague, client, or someone you or your company has done business with recently, in an attempt to get your confidential account information, or convince you to wire funds. In some cases, if they have access to your mail or invoices, they may pretend to be a vendor asking for funds to be wired to a new account.

For instance, one type of scam that affects law firms is the classic debt collection scam. It starts when a law firm is approached by a new client to assist in collecting a debt. However, before the law firm commences collection, a “cashier’s or corporate check” arrives paying the debt.

The firm deposits this check in its trust account, deducting its fee, and then wire transfers the balance to its new client, thinking that the funds are good. Shortly thereafter, the check bounces, the trust account is overdrawn, and the wired funds are gone, with little chance of recovery.


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