Wire transfer and cyber fraud are on the rise. That’s partly because criminals have limitless options for perpetrating wire fraud.
They use many combinations of fraudulent approaches, and various points of compromise, including malware transferred from a vendor to a customer, an email misleading an employee or a call from a senior company official requesting a transfer of funds. All of these methods—and more—can result in transferring funds fraudulently to criminals.
In the last 20 years, the number of wire transfers taking place has more than doubled (now exceeding 130 million per year) while the total dollar volume has nearly tripled.
You can help prevent wire fraud by confirming all wire and other disbursement requests with a simple call to a known or independently verified phone number. Do NOT call the numbers in the e-mail that sent the request for funding changes.
Additional ways to protect yourself include:
- Be wary of free, web-based e-mail accounts which are more susceptible to being hacked.
- Protect your computers and cell phones with the latest patches and updates.
- Choose strong pass phrases (a recommended new security measure) or passwords and change them periodically.
- Educate yourself and others about new fraud prevention techniques.
- If there’s any doubt, utilize cashier’s checks. Some real estate offices, for example, now require all incoming funds over $2,000 to be in the form of a cashier’s check.