ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — The FBI says that since January 1 of this year, they have seen a significant uptick in business email compromises because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What You Need To Know

  •  The FBI reports that business email compromise cases have spiked during the pandemic

  •  BEC scammers target businesses that regularly use wire transfer payments

  • Microsoft experts say that using multifactor authentication can block 99.9% of account hacks

A business email compromise, or BEC, is a sophisticated scam targeting businesses that regularly perform wire transfer payments. 

According to the FBI Tampa Division, which also works in Central Florida, the agency has seen more than 300 businesses become victims of cyber crime since the beginning of the year, losing in excess of $21 million dollars. 

In Orange County alone there has been nearly $785,000 in reported losses as a result of BECs. 

Local cyber security company Advanced Systems Solutions Inc., says as soon as companies started to have employees work from home due to the pandemic, business started to boom.

“The phone was ringing during the initial lockdown, insanely," said Advanced Systems Solutions Inc. CEO Tom Craig. "Working remotely, opening up their networks, and then coming back, and saying, 'Did we do that in the most secure way possible? or is there a better way for us to do this?' ”

Microsoft recently reported that people or companies who use multifactor authentication block 99.9% of account hacks.

Multifactor authentication is an electronic authentication method in which a user is granted access to a website or application only after successfully presenting two or more pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism.