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Stay on top of security by knowing what scams look like — and how to avoid them.  

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We have gathered these resources and information to help you protect your business. Learn about common scams on this site — and for daily scam updates, visit the KnowBe4 Security Awareness Training website.

Business Email Compromise | CEO/Executive Phishing | Ransomware 

Business Email Compromise (BEC)

More than 50 businesses per day file a loss report with the FBI, as a result of BEC. 

A BEC scam is a form of phishing or spear phishing where an attacker impersonates a company executive (often the CEO) or other associate, and attempts to get an employee, customer, or vendor to transfer funds or provide sensitive information. Their end game is to steal information and ultimately your money.

In 2021, the adjusted losses of BEC attacks to American companies was nearly $2.4B, according to the 2021 Internet Crime Report, released by the FBI.

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Get more information about Business Email Compromise (BEC) from Tim Hadley, Vice President, Old National Treasury Management Product Director.

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Video for Business Email Compromise


Learn how to identify Business Email Compromise in this 4-minute video hosted by Old National Market President Sara Miller.

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CEO/Executive Phishing

CEO/executive phishing can occur in different ways when scammers:

  • Send email to a business executive under a fake name, with the intent of tricking the executive to take some action
  • Gain access to an executive's mailbox and pretend to be the executive
  • Send emails to company employees from an executive’s domain name very similar to the target’s domain name (typically off by one or two characters).

Thieves usually take the time to learn about the organization’s management structure, and their end game is to trick controllers and other financial executives into conducting transactions, processing financial transfers, or other actions without going through proper authentication processes.

For example, a controller receives an email from someone they think is the CEO. The email requests money be transferred for what appears to be valid business reasons. The controller follows the directions in the email without confirming it is legitimate, thinking the CEO has initiated the request — when in reality they are sending money to cyber thieves.

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This is a specific type of Business Email Compromise scam. These resources can help you avoid it:


Email is still the #1 delivery vehicle for malware, including ransomware.

Ransomware is a kind of malware in which the data on a victim's computer is locked, typically by encryption. Monetary gain is almost always the motive for ransomware attacks, and a ransom payment is demanded from the victim, in order to have their data decrypted and access returned. Often the ransom payment is required to be paid in virtual currency (i.e. bitcoin), so the cybercriminal's identity remains anonymous.

Ransomware attacks are different than other types of attacks, because the victim is usually notified about what has happened and given instructions on how to recover. Every employee of a company must stay vigilant to protect the organization from being a victim of ransomware.

Two coworkers researching ransomware information


Stay ahead of the game by educating yourselves and your employees.

How to Detect Business Email Compromise