FBI Warns Minnesota Businesses of Email Compromise Scam

FBI Warns Minnesota Businesses of Email Compromise Scam Photo: KSTP

June 08, 2018 12:28 PM

The Minneapolis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning businesses to be on the lookout for an email compromise scheme the FBI believes to have been engineered by a criminal enterprise with ties to a foreign-based organization.

A release said several Minnesota-based businesses have fallen victim to the scene, which involved receiving invoices or new ACH depositing instructions appearing to be from known and legitimate construction-related vendors. However, certain details on the invoice were allegedly changed to divert money into bank accounts controlled by the scammers.


RELATED: California Woman Charged in Online Fraud Scheme Targeting Minnesotans

The release said the scammers also used domains that appeared to be similar to the authentic domains used by the vendors, which made the email addresses appear valid unless observed closely.

In another case, according to the release, the business received a follow-up phone call after being sent the fraudulent email or invoice to further the scam.

RELATED: Phone Scheme Targets Restaurant Owners in the Twin Cities

All together, the release stated the businesses lost millions of dollars, though a portion of that money was recovered.

The FBI is advising businesses to take extra steps to insure the legitimacy of invoices, including double-checking contact information listed in invoices against known email addresses and vendor contact information. As well being on the lookout for any changes to bank routing numbers or instructions.

RELATED: Health Department Warns of Fraudulent Phone Calls

Any business that believes it may have fallen victim  to such a scam is urged to contact the FBI's Internet Complaint Center to file a complaint.


Frank Rajkowski

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