Email compromise scams found to cause $43bn in losses globally

The FBI has claimed that losses from business email compromise and email account compromise have surpassed $43bn worldwide.

According to Security Week, these losses including both actual and attempted loss reported between June 2016 and December 2021. There was found to be a huge 65% increase between 2019 and 2021, most likely caused by the great shift to home working.

In 2021, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received reports of BEC scams in all 50 US states and 177 countries globally. In a report published in March, the IC3 said it received almost 20,000 BEC complaints in 2021, with estimated losses of roughly $2.4bn.

In the Bureau’s new BEC report, the FBI said fraudulent transfers were made to over 140 countries, with banks in Hong Kong and Thailand found to be the most popular hub for fraudulent funds. Making up the top five were China, Mexico and Singapore.

The FBI added that the IC3 is getting more and more BEC complaints involving the use of cryptocurrency, adding that is has tracked two types of such scams, including either direct or ‘second hop’ transfers to a cryptocurrency exchange.

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