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Money

The www.FedPrimeRate.com Personal Finance Blog and Magazine

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Business Email Compromise (BEC) Scams

This one is costing both companies and individuals big $$$$.  The scams never end.

From the FBI website:

"...Business Email Compromise

Business email compromise (BEC) — also known as email account compromise (EAC) — is one of the most financially damaging online crimes. It exploits the fact that so many of us rely on email to conduct business — both personal and professional.

In a BEC scam, criminals send an email message that appears to come from a known source making a legitimate request, like in these examples:

  • A vendor your company regularly deals with sends an invoice with an updated mailing address.
  • A company CEO asks her assistant to purchase dozens of gift cards to send out as employee rewards. She asks for the serial numbers so she can email them out right away.
  • A homebuyer receives a message from his title company with instructions on how to wire his down payment.

 

Versions of these scenarios happened to real victims. All the messages were fake. And in each case, thousands—or even hundreds of thousands—of dollars were sent to criminals instead.

How Criminals Carry Out BEC Scams

A scammer might:

  • Spoof an email account or website. Slight variations on legitimate addresses (john.kelly@examplecompany.com vs. john.kelley@examplecompany.com) fool victims into thinking fake accounts are authentic.
  • Send spearphishing emails. These messages look like they’re from a trusted sender to trick victims into revealing confidential information. That information lets criminals access company accounts, calendars, and data that gives them the details they need to carry out the BEC schemes.
  • Use malware. Malicious software can infiltrate company networks and gain access to legitimate email threads about billing and invoices. That information is used to time requests or send messages so accountants or financial officers don’t question payment requests. Malware also lets criminals gain undetected access to a victim’s data, including passwords and financial account information.

If you or your company fall victim to a BEC scam, it’s important to act quickly:

  • Contact your financial institution immediately and request that they contact the financial institution where the transfer was sent.
  • Next, contact your local FBI field office to report the crime.

  • Also file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

How to Protect Yourself

  • Be careful with what information you share online or on social media. By openly sharing things like pet names, schools you attended, links to family members, and your birthday, you can give a scammer all the information they need to guess your password or answer your security questions.
  • Don’t click on anything in an unsolicited email or text message asking you to update or verify account information. Look up the company’s phone number on your own (don’t use the one a potential scammer is providing), and call the company to ask if the request is legitimate.
  • Carefully examine the email address, URL, and spelling used in any correspondence. Scammers use slight differences to trick your eye and gain your trust.
  • Be careful what you download. Never open an email attachment from someone you don't know, and be wary of email attachments forwarded to you.
  • Set up two-factor (or multi-factor) authentication on any account that allows it, and never disable it.
  • Verify payment and purchase requests in person if possible or by calling the person to make sure it is legitimate. You should verify any change in account number or payment procedures with the person making the request.
  • Be especially wary if the requestor is pressing you to act quickly..."


Business Email Compromise (BEC) Scams
Business Email Compromise (BEC) Scams


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Monday, July 20, 2020

Fast Gaining Jobs In The Wake of COVID-19

From the exceptional folks at LinkedIn: Fast Gaining Jobs In The Wake of COVID-19:

Fast Gaining Jobs In The Wake of COVID-19
Fast Gaining Jobs In The Wake of COVID-19


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Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Free Online Credit Reports Until April 2021

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the three major credit reporting agencies -- Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion -- are offering free access to online credit reports, weekly, until April 2021.


Free Online Credit Reports Until April 2021
Free Online Credit Reports Until April 2021


You can Start Here.

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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Transunion and Equifax Credit Score Update - May 29, 2020


Transunion and Equifax Credit Score Update - May 29, 2020
Transunion and Equifax Credit Score Update - May 29, 2020


I'll be doing a lot of traveling soon, and I was feeling quite insecure about my Dell laptop.  Still works, but the hard drive started to get noisy -- a strong signal of impending drive failure -- and it does this sputtering lockup thing often enough to be totally annoying. So I decided to buy a new one.

I bought another Dell for a bit over $800.  I put the purchase on my favorite rewards credit card, which has the highest credit limit in my card arsenal ($30K), with plans to pay it down to zero within two or three months.

Credit scores still looking OK.  Stay tuned.

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New Dell Laptop with Sony Wireless Headphones

New Dell Laptop with Sony Wireless Headphones



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Saturday, February 22, 2020

How People View Economic Fairness in Their Nation

From the New York Times: Percent of respondents who agree that economic differences between rich and poor are unfair in their country:

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Japan
30%
Czech Republic
39%
Indonesia
39%
Philippines
42%
Cambodia
53%
Peru
53%
Australia
56%
Venezuela
56%
Sri Lanka
57%
Rwanda
57%
United States
57%
Canada
58%
Mexico
59%
Switzerland
60%
Norway
61%
Colombia
61%
South Korea
63%
Tanzania
63%
Ecuador
63%
Vietnam
63%
Netherlands
64%
Malawi
64%
China
65%
Estonia
65%
Bangladesh
65%
Cameroon
66%
Germany
66%
Kazakhstan
66%
Algeria
67%
Bolivia
68%
France
70%
Kenya
70%
Britain
71%
Iran
72%
Israel
72%
South Africa
72%
Croatia
73%
Zambia
75%
Italy
75%
Spain
76%
India
77%
Portugal
77%
Thailand
77%
Brazil
78%
Zimbabwe
78%
Uganda
78%
Pakistan
80%
Nigeria
81%
Hungary
81%
Russia
81%
Argentina
83%
Ukraine
83%
Chile
84%
Greece
84%
Turkey
85%
Morocco
87%
Ethiopia
87%
Jordan
88%
Egypt
95%
Afghanistan
97%

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Monday, December 16, 2019

New Breed of Banks

New Breed of Banks; a segment by the exceptional folks at Nightly Business Report (NBR.) "Tech companies, big and small, are getting into the banking business...":




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Monday, October 28, 2019

New Home Prices Lowest In Three Years

New Home Prices Lowest In Three Years; report produced by the good folks at Nightly Business Report (NBR):


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