The FBI is urging businesses to be on the lookout for phishing emails designed to divert an employee’s direct deposit paychecks.
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has announced that it is receiving complaints that cybercriminals are targeting the online payroll accounts in a variety of industries. Institutions most affected are education, healthcare, and commercial airway transportation, the alert states.
“Cybercriminals target employees through phishing emails designed to capture an employee’s login credentials,” according to the FBI. “Once the cybercriminal has obtained an employee’s credentials, the credentials are used to access the employee’s payroll account in order to change their bank account information. Rules are added by the cybercriminal to the employee’s account preventing the employee from receiving alerts regarding direct deposit changes. Direct deposits are then changed and redirected to an account controlled by the cybercriminal, which is often a prepaid card.”
They recommend instructing employees to hover their cursor over hyperlinks included in emails to ensure the URL is actually related to or associated with the company it says it’s from. The agency also suggests using different log-in credentials for payroll, and instructing banks to apply greater scrutiny to employee requests to change their direct deposit credentials. (Go here to see all the recommendations.)
If cybercriminals do get through, report it to the local FBI field office and file a complaint with the IC3 at www.ic3.gov.