Home Industry News BEC Scammers Siphoned Off $2.6 Million From Puerto Rico Government

BEC Scammers Siphoned Off $2.6 Million From Puerto Rico Government

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Source: Cyware | By Ryan Stewart

• The government-owned corporation reportedly received an email alleging a change to a banking account tied to remittance payments.
• BEC scams ruled the list for top crimes costing maximum to the victims in 2019.

In a recent phishing scam, attackers targeted Puerto Rico’s Industrial Development Company and swindled more than $2.6 million.

What happened?
The government of Puerto Rico has come forward claiming that its Industrial Development Company has fallen victim to an email scam known as BEC or EAC scam.

• The government-owned corporation reportedly received an email alleging a change to a banking account tied to remittance payments.
• The agency transferred the amount to a fraudulent account, Jan. 17.

Executive director of the agency, Manuel Laboy told the Associated Press, “This is a very serious situation, extremely serious. We want it to be investigated until the last consequences.”

Action taken
A formal complaint about the incident has been made with the police. Questions regarding how the scam was discovered, whether the agency’s operations have been impacted, and more still remain to be analyzed.

BEC scam report
BEC scams continue to cost big to individuals and companies. Two days back the FBI’s IC3 released its annual cybercrime report highlighting that BEC scams ruled the list for top crimes costing maximum to the victims in 2019. Other forms of scams have also significantly grown in terms of monetary loss to businesses.

Closing thoughts
The FBI authorities suggest to be vigilant of common ways of frauding and advice to verify any financial requests in person to avoid phishing and BEC scams.

The chief of IC3, Donna Gregory said, “In the same way your bank and online accounts have started to require two-factor authentication—apply that to your life. Verify requests in person or by phone, double check web and email addresses, and don’t follow the links provided in any messages.”

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