What is Wire Fraud?
When researching cyber crimes in business settings, you might wonder, “What is wire fraud?” Technology growth has made things easier, including communication and money transfer, but cybercrime is increasing.
Many businesses lose money through wire fraud, which is impossible to get back. Understanding what money fraud is and how these scammers operate makes it easier to protect yourself from cybercrime.
There are different types of wire fraud, which we will mention later in the article. The article also mentions ways to detect wire fraud and how to protect yourself or your business from it.
Let us get started.
What Is Wire Fraud?
Wire fraud is a method criminals use to get people to send money to them through wire transfer. The technique is easy and instantaneous; most victims do not notice immediately. Money sent through wire transfer cannot also be reversed.
Most wire fraud criminals target businesses because they can get huge amounts of money. They start by hacking the business executive’s or another department’s email account and pretend to be one of the clients.
For example, you are employed in the accounts department of your company. You get a lot of emails of invoices from suppliers and service providers of the company and authorized payments.
Since it is time to pay the bills, your stationery supplier sends in their invoice, together with an account number for payments. The supplier calls or texts you later to ask for settlement of their invoice, only to realize that you paid a fraudster.
Although wire frauds happen fast and are hard to detect, you can protect yourself by being more careful. Ensure you counter-check the details, call the sender or refer to your previous payments to ensure it is them.
Types Of Wire Fraud
Criminals are clever and want to ensure people don’t suspect they are being stolen from, so they have created many types of wire fraud. The standard wire fraud types are;
Phishing happens when a criminal pretends to be an employee or a friend of your business. For example, they could come to you as the company’s CEO or manager or as a company partner like a banking institution.
They convince the business owner or employee to send their details or money to pay for a service or goods. These communications could be done by email, using email addresses resembling banks or CEOs. The fraudsters could also use text messages and calls.
Ransomware happens when a criminal infects your company’s system to stop them from working. They then contact the management and ask for money from the company to get their system back.
Malware happens when cyber criminals hack your systems and steal essential and sensitive information. This could be your bank details, emails, and passwords. The criminal then uses your password to withdraw money from your accounts or blackmails the victim using the information.
How To Detect Wire Fraud
Now that you know “what is wire fraud and mail fraud,” being able to detect them keeps you and your company safe. Although the fraudsters use different methods to get money from your business, you can see fishy requests and emails.
Rushed Request By The Sender
If you got an email from your stationery supplier asking you to send the cash immediately, unlike in the past, you should be wary about that. Most wire fraudsters make the victims send money within the shortest time to avoid cross-checking the details and suspecting.
Some excuses they give are changes in closing hours, which is unlikely to happen to firms without communicating with their clients beforehand. If you suspect the email or phone call, contact the supplier directly.
The Sender Chooses To Communicate Over Emails Only
If someone asks you for payment but doesn’t want to communicate over the phone, investigate before making the payments. The receiver claims they are not in a position to talk at the moment but promise to confirm later.
Ensure you check the bank account and the email address used. Some impersonate companies and use their logo, but it could slightly differ. Compare the emails with the previous ones too.
Incorrect Words In The Email
When impersonating a company’s email, most fraudsters change a letter or two and twist the name, which is hard to detect. They could also be unprofessional by using the wrong email formats or having grammar and spelling mistakes.
If you notice extreme awkwardness in communication, they are probably fraudsters. Some criminals hire business communicators but not all want to spend extra money, so it’s important to ensure you always check your emails thoroughly.
If you deal with a company or a CEO, check their emails to ensure they are correct. Companies and financial institutions requesting payments use the company’s branded emails, but not a Gmail or Yahoo address.
How To Prevent Wire And Mail Fraud
Watching for red flags in the emails sent to the company protects you from being a victim of wire fraud. The other ways to prevent wire and email fraud are;
Double-Checking The Emails
Take your time to check the emails you receive from companies and ensure they are legitimate. Be wary of company emails with yahoo and Gmail addresses. You can compare the sender from the previous emails to be sure.
The fraudsters also create similar emails to impersonate companies. For example, they could alternate hard-to-notice letters in the email or use the letter m instead of rn. Again, these are hard to see unless you are keen.
Don’t Accept Sending Money In Urgency
Many fraudsters ask the victims to send the money urgently. If you have never received an urgent request from the company before, be hesitant to send the money. You could instead contact the email sender through another channel to confirm.
Always confirm with the original requester before sending them money. You can walk into their office or make a phone call. You can also create a policy for securing wire requests to protect your company.
Create A Code To Use With Your Suppliers
To ensure you are sending money to the right person, create codes that you and the receiver share and avoid using them on emails. Emails can be hacked, and criminals can get your codes.
- Be Wary Of Abrupt Changes
If you notice something is different with the requester, contact them to confirm. You can call them or walk into their office. If they talk about changing anything in their company, ask someone you know directly.
Do Not Send Emails To Verify
Avoid replying to the requesters by email. Sometimes fraudsters hack into a company’s or personal email, and you fall for the trap since you can see it’s legit. Instead, you can contact the requester through other means to ensure the email is from them.
Some employees don’t know about cybercrime and fall victims more often. However, you can alert them by educating them on things to look out for and how to be more careful.
Now that you know “what is wire fraud,” and can detect fraudsters, you should protect your company from cybercrime. Also, ensure you educate your staff on how to see the fraudsters to avoid losses in the company.