Understanding Imposter Fraud – aka Business Email Compromise Fraud

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), cyber thieves have stolen nearly $750 million between October 2013 and August 20151 through imposter fraud – aka business email compromise fraud – a scam that spoofs or hijacks email accounts of business executives. Once compromised, fraudsters use the email accounts to send fraudulent transaction instructions to company employees and steal client funds. Fraud attempts have increased by 270 percent in 2015 alone with all types and sizes of businesses affected.

Security expert Guardian Analytics highlighted how imposter fraud happens in this tutorial video. Watch it to learn how you can protect yourself.


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This material is provided for informational purposes only. The conclusions expressed are based upon limited information available to Silicon Valley Bank regarding your company's fraud detection and prevention programs, and should not be seen as a substitute for obtaining your own independent assessment of such programs. The security of your operating system and your procedures for conducting banking transactions with us remains your responsibility. Silicon Valley Bank is not responsible for any cost, claim or loss associated with your use of this material.   



The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Guardian Analytics, and Krebs on Security are not affiliated with Silicon Valley Bank or any of its affiliates.

About the Author

Debi Kutaka is the Senior Fraud Risk Manager on SVB’s Financial Crimes Risk Management team. She is responsible for managing fraud risk and enhancing fraud prevention awareness. In her role, she is focused on  minimizing monetary losses and financial crime for the bank and its  customers through fraud risk analysis, fraud prevention education and client implementation of fraud prevention tools to enhance client security.

With SVB since 2005, her experience includes extensive knowledge of global fraud trends, implementing enhancements of controls, policies and  procedures, assisting business units with efforts to adhere to fraud risk  management best practices and conducting investigations on behalf of our clients.

Debi earned a B.S. in Marketing from San Jose State University and has more than 16 years of banking experience.