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FBI: BEC now a $26 billion fraud, as HR payroll diversion attacks linked to same scammers

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) estimates global ‘exposed dollar losses’ to business email compromise fraud has exceeded $26 billion in the past three years. 

The $26 billion in exposed dollar losses include both actual losses and attempted BEC fraud, which occurred over 166,349 incidents in the US and rest of the world. BEC scammers are targeting small, medium and large organizations, according to ethics FBI.  

Just last July the FBI declared BEC fraud a $12 billion scam reflecting worldwide exposed dollar losses between 2013 and May 2018. The agency estimated US BEC losses in 2018 alone reached $1.3 billion.  

The FBI notes that the scam has been reported in all 50 US states and 177 countries with funds transferred to accounts in at least 140 countries. 

Bank accounts in China and Hong Kong are still the main destination of fraudulent funds, however the FBI has seen an uptick in BEC fraud funds sent to the UK, Mexico and Turkey.