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FBI Advisory: Wire Fraud Email Scam for Business Owners

June 2015
North Texas banks received a recent notice from the Dallas Division of the FBI regarding attempted wire fraud and we want to share it with our customers. At American National Bank of Texas, we strive to ensure your business is protected from threats and potential issues that could have a detrimental effect on your company. 

What is the current wire fraud issue?

ANBTX was informed of a current scam involving wire fraud - scammers are spoofing business emails to initiate wire transfers. Company employees are receiving emails that look as though they are coming from their own executive management team requesting that wire transfers be conducted on their behalf. The employees then execute the wire transfer that was requested, only to find out later that the wire was not legitimately requested. 

How to protect your business from wire fraud

Companies that transmit wires should consider additional internal security precautions when doing so to confirm valid requests:

  • Email systems can be compromised or mimicked, as is the case with the following email: JohnDoe@123solutions.com is a valid email, but the wire request email might come from JohnDoe@123soltuions.com. (Note that the "T" and "U" are reversed in the second email.)
  • Consider internal passwords for initiating payments to ensure instructions are legitimate. Change these periodically in case your business email system is compromised. 
  • Consider telephone or text confirmation of any legitimate internal wires requested. 

Other risks to consider

Phone systems can also be compromised with numbers rerouted to a fraudulent cell phone. Reports indicate this is being done to both businesses and consumer home phone numbers. Here are a few tips to protect your phone from being compromised:

  • Check your home phone line periodically if you don't use your home phone often to ensure it is still an active line. 
  • For businesses:
    • Consider methods for confirmation such as internal passcodes when initiating payments. 
    • Check with your telecom provider on protections that might be available to notify your company of any changes to telephone configurations. 

ANBTX is committed to providing information to protect our customers from wire fraud crimes. For additional information to protect your business, please visit the Federal Bureau of Investigation's website. 

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