Thanksgiving is here! Tis the season for “Out of Office” replies, calls going to voicemail, airports and highways crowded with travelers….and wire fraud. It’s the first Thanksgiving since 2019 without major travel restrictions and is anticipated to be one of the busiest ever with travel exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Everyone is thankful to see our family and friends again, detach from work, and enjoy time with our loved ones.
However, this Thanksgiving season also means a target rich environment for wire fraud bad guys. The criminals are thankful for:
1) Skeleton crews in the office (or the home office)
2) Understaffed banks and a holiday on 24th, meaning more time to move the money and make it impossible to recover the wire transfer
3) Distracted teammates focused on family, whose guard may be down while trying to wrap up business before getting out of town
4) Employees on vacation and checking phones while getting their family through airport security
This means big bucks for the criminals who will use urgent invoices, cleverly spoofed domain names, and compromised email accounts (that aren’t checked over the holidays) to steal from American businesses. Look out for the classic “Reply via email only. Please don’t call me on the phone during vacation.”
Our best advice? Let the deal wait until Monday when people are back in the office and focused on the job at hand. Tell your team not to send any first-time payments to new instructions over the next week. For anything that absolutely cannot wait, exercise extreme caution and don’t be afraid to slow down, even when everything is telling you to hurry up. Make the phone call and check with your teammate.
Safe wiring and Happy Thanksgiving!