Educational institutions should be aware of fraudulent request for payments from vendors. The FBI Boston Division identified three incidents over the past month where perpetrators submitted fraudulent transfer authorization forms to divert payments to Boston area colleges and universities. The perpetrators portrayed themselves as construction companies and sent emails/letters with instructions requesting payments to be made by wire to a bank account. The requests typically look like they are from a contractor or vendor providing services. They simulate the logo or email/web site address of the vendor. For example:
Actual vendor web site: www.realvendorname.com
Perpetrator web site: www.finance.realvendorname.com
A big red flag is if the vendor has historically been paid by check and you receive communication where they would like you to start sending payment by wire immediately.
If you receive a request to change payment information from check to wire, contact the requesting party to confirm before changes are made. For additional information on how to protect your organization from fraud, please visit our Privacy and Security Matters Blog for information and our upcoming webinar series.