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Sending a Payment Overseas? Whoa Now... Think Twice!

Well this is the week for Internet security problems, it seems. Here's a real-life situation that just happened to a 111 Web Studio customer in the normal course of doing business. It starts with one of those things that happens in many businesses every day. Let's say you're the VP of Finance and the President of the company sends you an email directing you to send $23,000 to an overseas account. He gives you the bank routing information and other details you need. Your job is to handle transactions like this efficiently and you're good at it. 

Is there any reason to doubt this request? It came from the President's email address and it's worded just like he would say it. Would you send the payment? Do you have procedures in place to double check and verify requests like this? If not, perhaps you should. In this particular case, the money was sent, but the request did not come from the President. Fortunately, the VP had second thoughts in time to stop the payment, but that is not always the case.

In 2014, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center received 2417 reports of loss totalling over $226 million.

In some cases, the criminal will simply do enough homework to find out who the President is and who the person is who is responsible for sending payments. Then he will spoof the email address in his message so it looks like it's coming from the President, but the actual address is the criminal's. In other cases, the criminal will actually hack the President's email box and send the message directly from it. That way he can delete replies from the finance person before the President spots them in his in-box. In other cases, the criminal may hack into a company phone system to verify a transfer with the bank by voice. 

The threat is real. The risk is significant. So be on your toes and question everything before you act. Put procedures in place and follow them. Internet security isn't just about hacking any longer. There are sophisticated and creative criminals out there. 

However... If you need an an awesome website, to be found on search engines or just want to chat about how to stay safe on the Internet give us a call at 877.397.7605 or contact us for more information.

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