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June-August 2020

Dutch organisations address business email compromise fraud

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received nearly 24,000 reports of business email compromise (BEC) fraud last year, involving sums totalling more than $1.7bn worldwide. To tackle this highly damaging form of cyber crime – and other types of attack – in the Netherlands, the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Hague Security Delta Office are working in a public-private partnership with banks, companies, governments and knowledge institutes. The best-known case of BEC fraud – also known as CEO fraud – in the Netherlands concerned cinema chain Pathé. In 2018, criminals posed as directors at the company’s French head office and sent emails to its Dutch management requesting money to pay for a takeover abroad. The Dutch management received an urgent request not to tell anyone about the transactions in order to take the wind out of competitors’ sails. Although Pathé’s Dutch management had their doubts about the request, they cooperated. After the first transaction, the fraudsters started asking for ever larger amounts and...

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