How to Spot a Business Email Compromise Scam


How to Spot a Business Email Compromise Scam

Understanding Business Email Compromise

Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams are sophisticated cyber attacks. They often target companies and individuals through email. Understanding their nature is crucial for prevention.

Common Signs of a BEC Scam

Unexpected Requests

Emails that request urgent transfers of money or sensitive information are red flags. Always verify such requests through a different communication channel.

Unfamiliar Email Addresses

Scammers often use email addresses that look similar to legitimate ones. Check for subtle differences like extra characters or domain changes.

Spoofed Domains

Sometimes, scammers spoof legitimate domains. Double-check the sender’s email address carefully. Even a slight variation can indicate a scam.

Techniques Used in BEC Scams


Phishing is a common technique in BEC scams. Scammers trick victims into providing confidential information. Be wary of emails asking for login credentials or financial details.

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing targets specific individuals within an organization. These emails appear more personalized and credible. Always scrutinize unexpected emails, even if they seem legitimate.

CEO Fraud

In CEO fraud, scammers impersonate high-level executives. They send urgent requests to employees, often demanding financial transactions. Verify such requests directly with the purported sender.

Protecting Yourself from BEC Scams

Educate Employees

Regular training can help employees recognize BEC scams. Awareness is the first line of defense.

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security. It makes it harder for scammers to access your accounts.

Use Email Filtering

Email filters can block suspicious emails. Configure them to flag potential BEC threats.

Verify Requests

Always verify unusual requests, especially those involving money or sensitive information. Use a different communication method to confirm authenticity.

Reporting a BEC Scam

Contact Authorities

If you suspect a BEC scam, contact local law enforcement. Reporting can help prevent future scams.

Notify Your IT Department

Inform your IT department immediately. They can take steps to secure your network and prevent further breaches.

Alert Affected Parties

If a BEC scam compromises your data, notify affected individuals or organizations. Prompt communication can mitigate damage.

Being vigilant is key to preventing Business Email Compromise scams. Recognize the signs, educate your team, and always verify suspicious requests. By taking these steps, you can protect your business from costly cyber attacks.


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