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Business email compromise attempts hit $301M a month

FinCEN has issued a report warning that manufacturing and construction firms are top targets for business email compromise attacks. The number of suspicious activity reports describing business email compromise (BEC) incidents reported monthly has grown rapidly, averaging nearly 500 per month in 2016, and above 1,100 per month in 2018. The total value of attempted BEC thefts, as reported in SARs, climbed to an average of $301 million per month in 2018 from only $110 million per month in 2016. For portions of this report, FinCEN analyzed randomly selected, statistically representative samples of SAR narratives on BEC incidents filed in 2017 and 2018 to assess BEC trends and methods.

FinCEN has established an exchange forum that focuses on BEC scams and issued an updated advisory [FIN-2019-A005] on email compromise fraud schemes that target vulnerable business processes.

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