Wire Fraud

Wire Fraud

What to do if you are a victim

  • Contact your bank or the money transfer company immediately upon discovering that funds have been transferred to the wrong account. Ask the bank or money transfer company to attempt a wire recall.
  • Contact your local FBI and state Attorney General office.
  • File a complaint, regardless of the dollar amount, with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov. Part of the mission of ic3 is to provide the public with a reliable and convenient reporting mechanism to submit information to the FBI concerning suspected Internet-facilitated criminal activity. Information is analyzed and used for investigative and intelligence law enforcement purposes and for public awareness.
  • Report the phishing scam to the FTC.

The FTC and the FBI have more information on protecting yourself from phishing scams and what to do if you are a victim.

SourceConsumer Financial Protection Bureau


ALTA’s Rapid Response Plan for Wire Fraud Incidents

ALTA’s Information Security Committee created a Rapid Response Plan. The plan outlines 10 steps that companies should follow if they’ve been hit by wire fraud. In addition, there’s a worksheet to help you develop your own rapid response plan.

Contact your team according to a pre-arranged plan (group email; group text):

  • Owner / Manager
  • Accounting / Finance / Treasurer
  • IT / IT Security
  • Legal Counsel
  • Others?
  • Contact the sending bank’s fraud department and request that a recall of the wire be sent to the receiving bank because of fraud. Provide the details for the wire.
  • Ask the sending bank to initiate the FBI’s Financial Fraud Kill Chain if the amount of the wire transfer is $50,000 or above; the wire transfer is international; a SWIFT recall notice has been initiated; and the wire transfer has occurred within the last 72 hours.
  • Also, call the receiving bank’s fraud department to notify them that you have requested a recall of the wire because of fraud. Provide the details for the wire and request that the account be frozen.
  • If a client or consumer was a victim and your bank/accounts were not directly involved, your client or customer will need to contact the bank themselves but you may have helpful information to share, too. Coordinate quickly!

All of the parties to the transaction may include the buyer, seller, real estate agents, broker, attorneys, underwriter, notary, etc.

If you’re unsure about what to say, here’s a sample:

There appears to have been [attempted] wire fraud associated with this transaction. We recommend that you review your email security and update passwords and take any other appropriate security measures immediately. For the remainder of this transaction, all communication will occur using known, trusted, telephone numbers.

Review your Incident Response Plan to determine if you need to update passwords, secure hardware, and review email logs to determine how and when email accounts were accessed.

Visit www.ic3.gov and provide the following information:

  • Victim’s name, address, telephone, and email
  • Financial transaction information (e.g., account information, transaction date and amount, who received the money)
  • Subject’s name, address, telephone, email, website, and IP address
  • Specific details on how you were victimized
  • For Business Email Compromise (BEC) events, copy email header(s) – Learn how
  • Any other relevant information that is necessary to support the claimant

ALTA’s Rapid Response Plan for Wire Fraud Incidents

Internet-related crime, like any other crime, should be reported to appropriate law enforcement investigative authorities at the local, state, federal, or international levels, depending on the scope of the crime. Citizens who are aware of federal crimes should report them to local offices of federal law enforcement. Source: U.S. Department of Justice