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White collar crimes: Business email compromise costs billions

The FBI recently reported that business email compromise cost U.S. companies $26 billion between 2016 and now. These white collar crimes are simple to carry out and extremely effective, and targets can be companies in Michigan or elsewhere in the country. Authorities say that this type of email wire fraud appears to be one of the most costly cyber crimes committed against corporations.

Reportedly, this deception typically involves the impersonation of a senior executive in an email to a staff member with instructions to do a wire transfer of funds for the fulfillment of a purchase order or to pay a company debt. Once the instruction is carried out, that money is gone because such transactions are not usually covered by insurance. Contrary to most other cyberattacks like real estate wire fraud or sextortion emails, which are typically complicated schemes, business email compromise requires no more than a rudimentary knowledge of computers.

Law enforcement can do little to recover the money lost by responding to fraudulent emails. Many of the reported cases involved human resources departments receiving emailed instructions to reroute paychecks to offshore accounts. For this reason, business owners are advised to establish protocols to prevent the wiring of funds without multiple steps of validation.

Anyone in Michigan who is accused of committing white collar crimes will likely need the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Defending wire fraud charges typically requires following complicated paper trails, which might be best handled by skilled legal counsel. With such representation, the chances of the best possible outcome for the client will be increased.

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