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Avoid Becoming a Victim of Business Email Compromise

At South State Bank, the safety and security of our customers’ accounts is a top priority. With Business Email Compromise (BEC) on the rise around the world, we want to provide you with helpful information to keep in mind when performing business transactions, specifically ACH and wire transactions.

What is Business Email Compromise?

Business Email Compromise is a type of email fraud where criminals hack a company’s email accounts to send fraudulent ACH and wire transfer requests to financial institutions.

These criminals can use the email account of a company employee and send fraudulent requests directly to the company’s financial institution or impersonate a company executive and convince an authorized employee to execute a wire transfer or ACH transaction. They can also pose as a company’s supplier or vendor and request payment via ACH or wire transfer.

How do I recognize Business Email Compromise?

Beware of the following warning signs that an email you receive regarding a request for payment is fraudulent:

  • You receive an ACH or wire transfer request with a pronounced sense of urgency to be paid.
  • There are grammatical errors in the email you receive.
  • The email address from a known sender is slightly different. ([email protected] vs. [email protected])
  • Transaction instructions direct payment to a known beneficiary; however, the beneficiary’s account information is different from what was previously used.
  • Font color and font type in an email from a known sender is different from what he/she typically uses.
  • The email has an unusual time stamp.

How do I protect myself and my company against Business Email Compromise?

  • Pay close attention to all emails you receive to ensure they are from a known source.
  • Do not click links within an email or open attachments if it is not from a known source.
  • If you receive new payment instructions from someone you submit payment to on a regular basis, confirm the new instructions with that individual or company in person or over the phone.