Beshear issues scam alerts to governments; another reason to argue Public Notices on Government websites would be a bad idea
Attorney General Andy Beshear issued a Scam Alert Thursday, warning government organizations and small businesses to be cautious of a “business email compromise” scam.
Several reports of the scam have recently been reported in central and eastern Kentucky, with losses totaling more than $8,000.
The scam is carried out when a con artist creates a spoof employee email account or hacks into a legitimate account and sends an email to another employee asking him or her to initiate an emergency wire fund transfer.
Beshear said company leaders, as well as those who oversee spending are most usually the targets of the scam.
“The business email compromise scam is a serious danger to Kentucky businesses and governmental organizations,” Beshear said. “Our office is working to protect Kentuckians every day, and the recent reports we have received on the sophisticated nature of this scam is cause for concern for all business owners and government leaders.”
According to an FBI report, the business email compromise scam is an emerging global threat and from 2013-2016, victims in the United States lost more than $960 million to this scam.
Beshear’s Office offers these tips from the Better Business Bureau to help protect from the scam:
- Avoid free online email accounts by creating a company domain name and establish company email accounts.
- Review IT security procedures and consider implementing a two-step verification process for wire transfers and for spending approvals.
- Warn staff to be suspicious of out-of-the-ordinary emails for a spending request, especially if those emails request confidentiality or insist quick action.
- Be careful about details shared on company websites and social media accounts. Business descriptions, hierarchical information and out-of-office details are sources of information for hackers and scammers.
One of the critical missions of the Office of the Attorney General is to help Kentucky families, seniors and businesses recognize and avoid scams.
Kentuckians who suspect a scam should contact the Office of the Attorney General at 502-696-5300 and fill out an online complaint form. Beshear recently issued a scam alert warning Kentuckians of IRS and tax-related identity theft scams and a Facebook customer service scam.
March 5-11 is National Consumer Protection Week, and Attorney General Beshear is asking Kentuckians to take time this week to stay ahead of scammers by signing up for Scam Alerts.
Scam Alerts provide Kentuckians a direct alert, including tips on how to avoid new and trending scams reported in Kentucky. To enroll, text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311), or enroll online at ag.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.