BEC scams: what it means and how to protect yourself


BEC scams are a form of cybercrime. It is particularly challenging as it is difficult for victims to detect and targets large, medium and small businesses.

How do BEC scams work?

The abbreviation BEC stands for Business email postal compromise, which is German for compromising or manipulating business email. This is the essence of phishing: scammers take over business emails. But especially dangerous is the shrewd and frighteningly patient approach.

  • In BEC fraud, cybercriminals gain access to a company’s email. of a mail service provider, especially a person such as a general manager or accounting manager.
  • You are reading a business email. email flow and this is where the clever scam begins: you will learn what words a person likes to use, how they form sentences and what greetings they use to say goodbye.
  • Thus, fraudsters learn to perfectly impersonate a person in correspondence. Then strike.
  • They intercept a person’s email. letters or e-mails letters to business partners on behalf of a person. email The emails look deceptively real: they have the same logos as official emails. in the emails and appear to be sent by a person with whom the business partners have been communicating all along.
  • In business letters, criminals either ask for urgent payment or inform partners that the account details have changed in order to receive the transfer themselves.
  • The fraudster does not notice anything at first. Scammers delete sent messages and usually communicate with a business partner.
  • It’s only when legitimate parties get angry about unpaid bills or accusations that there must be a security issue.

How to protect yourself from cybercriminals?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has already released the 2019 information Businesses of all sizes have lost $26 billion to BEC fraud. The number of fraudulent scams is constantly increasing. It is important to protect yourself from BEC fraud and act quickly if you suspect fraud.

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  • Always use one Identification of 2 factors email for email accounts and bank accounts. Although this makes it impossible to access e-mail. email service provider, very few cybercriminals have the technical tools to do so.
  • You may know that you can protect yourself from fraud by clicking pixels or incorrect logos and spelling pay attention to the email Unfortunately, most BEC cheaters are too smart to make rookie mistakes like this. But it never hurts to take a closer look at email.
  • For large and important payment requests, always pay attention to Email address. Is the letter suddenly capitalized? Is it for e-mail? email address has an extension such as .ru? This is reason enough to get back in touch with your business partner, ideally by phone or webcam.
  • There is a red flag Bank data changes. Pay special attention to the sender or ask again by phone or online if the change is correct.
  • Is your partner’s email emails suddenly go to the trash, do you receive them from your email postal service provider Inform the relevant business partner that suspicious activity has been detected and emphasize that fraudsters are often invisible to victims. You can suggest your own email mail flowbecause criminals delete emails that the scammer should not know about.
  • Are you surprised that a business partner claims to have paid, but nothing happens in your account? Or you made a transfer but didn’t receive the money? These are the warning signs of a BEC scam. Contact your bank immediately and retrieve the transferwhile it is still possible.
  • report about the police fraud or attempted fraud.
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