How to Prevent Wire Fraud

Wire fraud is largely a result of compromised emails or an account takeover. This form of fraud can be difficult to detect because fraudsters may use a valid email address, craft their communication to mimic the actual account owners, and add urgency to the request. Sometimes, wire instructions are expected and the communication channel used to initiate a transfer has been used as standard practice in the past and considered secure.

Wire Fraud Red Flags

  • A sense of urgency in the email request.
  • Wire transfer recipient is only willing to communicate through email.
  • Spelling and grammatical errors within the email request.
  • The sender’s email address looks similar but may not be the same as the legitimate source.
  • Wire instructions direct the payment to a known beneficiary, but the account information is different than previously used details.
  • A difference in the amount of funds requested than previously confirmed.

All wire instructions received by email should be confirmed by phone using a trusted source to verify the number.

Business Wire Fraud Prevention

  • Verify all wire instructions via a known source – email instructions should never be the only source for a wire transfer.
  • Implement dual control procedures.
  • Establish a separation of duties within your organization.
  • Raise employee awareness of common wire fraud tactics, such as phishing emails, fake invoices, and CEO impersonation scams.
  • Utilize account alerts and monitor activity regularly with Online Banking and/or the GSB Mobile App