Thursday, June 13, 2024

Wire fraud reprise

To draw your attention to our Fraud Alerts when they are critical, we only send them when an issue is of a critical nature. We also have never repeated alerts. However, the level of wire fraud attempted and completed has risen to a level that now requires some repetition.

Look at the July 7, 2012 Alert on wire/ACH fraud and, again, revisit your policies and bank staff awareness. As noted there, the call back should never, ever be skipped for any reason. Most of the cases we have seen in the past few weeks have been instances where that call was skipped for a wide variety of reasons, which seemed reasonable to each bank at the time.

An email from the customer in lieu of a callback for verification is flawed since the cyber criminals most likely have control of your customer’s computer and email. If you have a form specific to your bank that must be completed, it is also not enough verification as we have seen multiple instances where the cyber criminals have accessed those forms and replicated them with your customer’s wire instructions. An email rushing a wire or noting your customer is unavailable for a call back should also raise red flags.

Friendly reminder from our insurance guru, Judy Hanna: In almost every case, there will be no insurance coverage available for this type of loss unless a call back is done to a pre-determined person. The call back will always be the difference between an attempted wire fraud and one completed. We are still seeing two or three attempts or completions weekly just here in Oklahoma and want to do all we can to move all those to the “attempted but not completed” category.

A bit of great news for all is our FBI expert on these cases, Jason Nestelroad, is now back to work full-time. Contacting Jason or the OBA as soon as you know there is a problem dramatically increases the likelihood we can recover at least some of the funds that have been wired. He has also asked we try to track the events here in an effort to better identify the perpetrators as well as the sheer number occurring.

On an ongoing basis, if you have information on wire frauds, including attempts, please forward the information to Nestelroad or the OBA’s Elaine Dodd. This is really an exciting prospect because Oklahoma data may be the key to painting a picture of what is happening nationwide as far as attacks and ISP commonalities, leading to prevention of future attacks.

As always, if you have any questions, contact Elaine at (405) 424-5252 or