In 2018, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received more than 900 complaints of internet driven crime every day. This amounted to over 350,000 complaints involving $2.7 billion in losses. Business enterprise compromises (BECs) were the most common and the most consequential.
These scams, which involve the use of fraudulent emails instructing recipients to unwittingly wire payments to criminals’ bank accounts, accounted for over 20,000 complaints and a whopping $1.2 billion in losses in 2018. The Cyber Division of the FBI’s Economic Crimes Unit investigates these complaints with the goal of recovering fraudulently diverted funds.
“Michael” is a retired FBI field agent who worked in this Unit since its inception. With his permission, the following is a summary of our recent conversation.