OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT)– An in-depth investigation by the Better Business Bureau reveals cyber crooks have ripped off more than $3 billion over the last three years.
Officials say the number of business email compromise scams has tripled over the last three years.
Jim Hegarty with the Better Business Bureau is working to prevent hackers from finding their way into the Bureau’s computer system. The Bureau is testing its employees by sending them fake emails that look like they may compromise the system.
“The whole purpose was to see how many of our employees would respond to it and click on it and when we find employees have clicked on it, it’s an opportunity to help them understand that they have to be extremely cautious,” said Hegarty.
Over at the Centris Federal Credit Union, it wasn’t a test, someone actually tried to compromise their email system.
“We’ve had our CFO and our controller both receive fraudulent emails appearing as if they were from myself asking them to wire funds, and it was not legitimate,” said Steve Swanstrom with Centris Federal Credit Union.
The Centris employees were suspicious and called bank leadership.
“They contacted me directly and said hey did you really want us to do this and I was able to shut it off before they were working any funds to a fraudster,” said Swanstrom.
Nationwide, 80 percent of businesses receive at least one of these emails attempting to get into their system and officials say most of them come from one place.
“Most of these crimes are being perpetrated from organized crime groups in Nigeria and this is not the type of Nigerian scam letter that we used to see back in the ’80s,” said Hegarty.
Officials say employees have to be careful and id an email request asks that money be transferred, it’s important to verify who sent the email. One of the biggest problems seen is the crime being under-reported.
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