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One of the most popular areas for payments fraud is wire transfers. That’s partly because criminals have limitless options for perpetrating wire fraud. There are many combinations of fraudulent approaches, and various points of compromise—such as malware transferred from a vendor to a customer, an email misleading an employee, or a call from the CEO requesting a transfer of funds—all can result in a wire initiation that transfers funds fraudulently to criminals.

The result can be hugely damaging to the company that the fraudster targets. One recent example occurred when a U.S.-based escrow firm transmitted fraudulent wire payments to accounts in China and Russia totaling more than $1 million between December 2012 and February 2013. Less than a third of the lost funds were recovered, and the escrow firm was forced out of business.

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