Cyber Criminals Tricking Small Business Owners Into Transferring Money their Bank Accounts


Cyber criminals always remain on the prowl for their preys, and their most recent preys are those small businesses who take cyber threats for granted, and bear a huge loss, due to not having sufficient security measures. Primarily because they don’t have security departments and procedures to keep themselves guarded against online theft.

And this fact has been very well proven by a recently conducted survey by the advocacy group, National Small Business Association, which says that cyber criminals got success in stealing an average of $32,000 from small business accounts. The report says that these businesses also don’t have  legal protection from the bank account fraud consumers have.

Even the Electronic Funds Transfer Act, which was passed in 1978, says itself that protection for individual consumers — who are primarily engaged in electronic fund transfers (EFTs)) — must be given against bank account theft. But the Act does not mention any legal protection for businesses that may have to face the same situation.

Doug Johnson, a Senior Vice President with the American Bankers Association states that the protection of a business completely depends upon the agreements signed by it with the respective banks. Adding more to the points he said that if the business has not followed or abided by the security measures mentioned in the agreement, then the former is itself responsible for the loss it had to sustain due to cyber criminals or hackers.

While almost all businesses are prone to cyber crimes, small companies stand a greater chance of incurring loss because they don’t tend to hold any security departments or procedures that can help guard them against online theft. Neither are they in possession of any big revenue stream that can help them in recovering faster.

Among the several companies that fell prey to the emerging crime was Sandy Marsico’s company by the name of Sandstorm Design. Her bank accounts were attacked twice; first in December where the bank contacted her saying a transfer of over $50,000 had been initiated over to some place in Mexico. She still doesn’t know how those people got to know about her account information and how did they manage to get so close to stealing off so much money.

Quite naturally, the transfer was not approved by Marsico. The account was immediately shut down. A new account was then registered under her name. After a few months, someone began to withdraw money from the account. A total of $20,000 was stolen off within the span of one month.

The bank carried out an investigation both the times. However, they refused to share the information with Marsico. Though she was reimbursed finally, yet Marsico had enough and decided to move her accounts to another bank from there.

The reason why cyber criminals get succeeded in their purposes is just because they don’t  stick to any one traditional method all throughout. Instead, they keep adapting and actively putting changing  and creative methods into use.

Avivah Litan, a security analyst with the research company Gartner, says thieves make use of realistic-looking emails in order that they are able to trap and trick these companies as well as make them transfer money from their accounts through wire transfers. And Marsico’s account was first attached exploiting a wire transfer attempt, but they did not use any email to her company.

Apart from this fraudulent way, the cyber criminals or hackers also make use of the malicious software to transfer money into their accounts by simply linking their computer to the user’s bank account, and thus steal the relevant information to meet their purposes.