"The 2018 report shows how prevalent these crimes are," Donna Gregory, chief of the IC3 said Monday. "It also shows that the financial toll is substantial and a victim can be anyone who uses a connected device. Awareness is one powerful tool in efforts to combat and prevent these crimes. Reporting is another. The more information that comes into the IC3, the better law enforcement is able to respond."
One bright spot is the Recovery Asset Team, established in February last year, which has already gained success in recovering funds lost in business email compromise scams. These sophisticated scams involve people infiltrating businesses’ email accounts and requesting fraudulent wire transfers or gift card purchases.
The Recovery Asset Team, the FBI says, has helped streamline communication with financial institutions and assist FBI field offices in the recovery of funds for businesses that report a fraudulent domestic transfer. The team was able to successfully recover more than $192 million in funds, a recovery rate of 75 percent.
One recovery success came in Colorado, where a victim wired $56,179.27 for a home purchase to a thief after receiving a spoofed email request from the lending agent. The Recovery Asset Team worked with the Denver Field Office and the victim’s bank to freeze the funds transfer and return $54,000 of the stolen money.