Fall 2020

Northwest Farm Credit: Rural, Real Estate, Operating Loans; Farm Loans; Country Home Loans; Lot Loans; Equipment Financing; Young and Beginning Producers; Crop Insurance; Business Management Education; Property Appraisals

Issue link: http://digital.nexsitepublishing.com/i/1310698

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Page 11 of 15

11 Northwest Farm Credit Services security awareness Wire transfer fraud is increasingly common and has recently impacted some Northwest FCS customers. The theft can start with a hacker gaining unauthorized access to someone else's email account. Once inside the email account, the hacker, pretending to be the account owner, selectively chooses what emails to answer and targets electronic payments. This type of attack is 50% spying and 50% manipulation, as fraudsters lurk in the email account – sometimes for days or weeks – looking for financial transactions in progress. Unnoticed, they communicate in cadence with the actual owner of the email account, mimicking the account owner's style, biding their time, waiting for a big money score. Not only is the email account owner unaware, but the recipient of emails from the account is also fooled into thinking they are working with the legitimate contact. When the time is right, the thief sends fraudulent wire transfer instructions to the recipient. As soon as the transfer is executed, the money is in the hands of the crooks. Neither the legitimate account owner nor the payee might notice anything is wrong for days or weeks. By then the money is long gone and difficult to trace. Honest, It Can Happen to You Don't Be Fooled By Wire Transfer Frauds John Whalen • Northwest FCS Director-Information Security To prevent wire transfer fraud: • Be extra cautious as one-time wire transfers are especially vulnerable to wire fraud. • Use two-factor authentication to protect your email account from a stranger logging in. • Use long, complex passwords (or password phrases) and do not reuse them on any other sites. • Be aware of the communication styles of your customers and vendors. • Verify senders of emails, especially if you notice fuzzy logos or inconsistent signature blocks. • Use the phone to verify unusual, unexpected or suspicious requests. • Examine sender email addresses for spoofing (watch for letter or number substitutions). Learn More Access more information about online security

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