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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Monday February 1st, 2021 :: 03:39 p.m. PST


Business Email Compromise Scam

Nature of Incident: Business Email Compromise Scams
Report Number: N/A
Location: County of Ventura
Date & Time: February 1, 2021
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau – Fraud Unit
Business Email Compromise scams have been increasing with more residents working remotely from home and email communication being a predominant means of communication.
Business Email Compromise (BEC) is a financial damaging online crime that exploits many who rely on email to conduct business.  Businesses and residents can easily fall victim to a BEC and lose thousands of dollars with a very slim likelihood of recovering the stolen money. 
BEC scams target a business or employee email account to compromise account information.  The suspect(s) will spoof the business email account by changing a letter or number from the original business email account.  The suspect(s) will then target vendors requesting payments to fraudulent banking accounts. Since the emails appear to be authentic, those receiving the emails follow through with the information provided by the spoof email.
How to protect yourself or your business:
  • Do not respond to unsolicited emails.
  • Anytime you receive a suspicious email requesting a payment or change in payment procedure, contact the company sending the email by pre-existing contact information to confirm the changes. Do not use phone numbers or emails attached to suspected BEC email.
  • Carefully examine the email address, URL, or spelling in the correspondence.
  • Train your employees on BEC scams, phishing, and other related scams to keep them aware of the risks of being compromised.
  • If you find yourself a victim of a BEC scam, immediately contact your banking institution and have them contact the financial institution where the transfer was sent.  Time is of the essence as these funds disappear in a short period of time when transferred.
  • Contact your local Law Enforcement Agency and report the crime immediately. 
Prepared by: Sergeant Jason Cantrall  
News Release Date: February 1, 2021  
Media Follow-Up Contact: Sergeant Jason Cantrall
[email protected]
Approved by: Captain Jeff Miller  
Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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