THE CYBER Crime arm of Mumbai Police is receiving a large number of Business E-Mail Compromise (BEC) cases from corporates in the city. BEC constitutes cases in which fraudsters create fake email addresses of top executives of corporate firms and then send instructions to junior employees via these fake emails to make fund transfers.
Police officers in the cyber cell said BEC cases make up the highest number registered with the cell: four-five cases a month, on an average.
“Of the cases we register, BEC cases form the biggest chunk,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (cyber crime) Sachin Patil.
The police, however, say many executives falling victim to such frauds do not report the cases to them, fearing it would tarnish their image and impact business.
“Even if one goes by the cases reported, BEC cases have been on the rise lately. The amount involved in each case is quite high,” said an officer.
Explaining the modus operandi, the officer said cyber criminals mine data of executives available online.
At times, they make calls to a company to obtain the email addresses of top executives.
Once they have these details, the accused then creates a fake email address similar to that of a top executive.
Say, a top executive’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, the accused comes up with something similar, say email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>.
From the fictitious address, the fraudster then sends a mail to a junior employee in the company, asking him to transfer money to a particular account.
The unsuspecting junior employee, who has received such requests in the past, falls into the trap, transferring funds to the account number provided in the email.
Once the money is transferred, the accused withdraws it immediately.