New email scam targets small businesses, non-profit organizations and volunteer groups

Posted at 8:11 PM, May 08, 2017

Cyber criminals are focused on new targets. The FBI said they have seen a spike in email scams targeting non-profit groups, small businesses and volunteer organizations. 

It's a variation of the Business E-mail Compromise that started a couple of years ago. 

It works like this, the criminal sends an email from what appears to be the president of a group asking the treasurer to transfer money. The criminals are clever making just a slight change to the email and in some cases the minor detail is not discovered and the money is transferred. 

Sue McConnell, president of the Better Business Bureau of Cleveland, got a couple of the fake emails.

"It was very interesting how real it looked to me," McConnell said 

However, McConnell was able to spot the fake emails right away.

"They spoofed my email. It even had our graphics," she said.

"These scammers are looking at social media, public websites and getting email addresses," said FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson. 

The BBB suggests that organizations look at what they make public to try and avoid scam situations. 

At least one local parent teacher organization was targeted by this scam but it was caught before money was ever transferred.