As per the 2018 Internet Crime Report (ICR), the newly established IC3 Recovery Asset Team (RAT) was able to recover about 75% of the $257.1 million lost to Internet crime [reported to IC3] in 2018. The RAT got involved with 1,061 domestic scams, and recovered $192.7 million.

The 2018 Internet Crime Report was published on April 22nd.

As per the report the greatest financial loss to Internet crime came for business email compromise (BEC) and email account compromise (EAC) scams; nearly $1.3 Billion were lost to BEC fraud in 2018.

As per the 2018 ICR, BEC was among the top three crime types with the highest reported losses. The other two being Confidence/Romance fraud and Non-payment/Non-delivery. In 2018, IC3 (The Internet Crime Complaint Center) received over 300, 000 complaints with losses exceeding $2.7 Billion.

The report also notes that the BEC/EAC scams, otherwise known as CEO frauds have evolved into more sophisticated forms, such as personal email compromise, vendor email compromise, spoofed lawyer email accounts, requests for W-2 information, and the targeting of the real estate sector.

Equally worth noting is its comment that in 2018 there was an increase in the number of BEC/EAC complaints requesting victims purchase gift cards.

Guidance for BEC Victims

  • Contact the originating Financial Institution as soon as fraud is recognized to request a recall or reversal as well as a Hold Harmless Letter or Letter of Indemnity.
  • File a detailed complaint with www.ic3.gov. It is vital the complaint contain all required data in provided fields, including banking information.
  • Visit www.ic3.gov for updated PSAs regarding BEC trends as well as other fraud schemes targeting specific populations (real estate, pre-paid cards, W-2, etc.).
  • Never make any payment changes without verifying with the intended recipient; verify email addresses are accurate when checking mail on a cell phone or other mobile device.

Suggested Reading