The top story this week in B2B fraud was undoubtedly the issue of fraud in the Small Business Administration (SBA) small business relief program.
Reports in Bloomberg said concerns continue to mount over the SBA’s $10,000 grant program, which, according to reports, provided funds “to just about anyone who asked.” After $20 billion in such grants was issued, fraud then reportedly continued to plague the SBA’s small business loan program.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said one SBA customer service representative, according to Bloomberg reports. “I don’t think they had any processes in place. They just sent the money out.”
It’s unclear exactly how the SBA may address such concerns, and reports noted that “missteps” were inevitable considering the haste and urgency with which such relief programs rolled out in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
But it’s not the only fraud issue plaguing the business and B2B payments arena today. In this week’s B2B Data Digest, PYMNTS takes a look at the numbers behind the latest stories in B2B fraud.
15 percent more business email compromise (BEC) attacks hit businesses in Q3 compared to Q2, the newest research by Abnormal Security revealed. The company’s latest quarterly BEC report found a 93 percent increase in BEC fraud attacks in the energy and infrastructure sector, while the retail and consumer goods, manufacturing and technology spaces saw the largest volume of weekly BEC attacks. Invoice and B2B payment fraud initiated via BEC scams were particularly rampant, seeing a 155 percent increase quarter over quarter. And while attacks targeting finance departments dropped by 53 percent, a 212 percent surge in attacks targeting group mailboxes reflects a shifting strategy among scammers.
$2.3 million was reportedly stolen from the Republican Party of Wisconsin via invoice fraud as concerns mount over cyberattacks targeting political campaigns. Reports in Bank Info Security last week said the Wisconsin GOP was targeted in a phishing campaign, in which attackers falsified invoices that appeared to be sent by WisGOP vendors. The group said it notified the FBI of the attack. The funds were intended for President Donal Trump’s reelection campaign, per reports.
$10 million in ransom demands are hitting hospitals across the U.S., a new warning from the Federal Bureau of Investigation says. According to the FBI, a swath of ransomware attacks is compromising the data and looking to steal cash from healthcare providers, citing “credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers.” The Associated Press, citing cybersecurity experts, said that at least five hospitals last week were hit by ransomware, while attackers have reportedly discussed plans to target more than 400 hospitals with ransomware.
$78 billion in SBA relief meant for struggling small businesses is now being called into question by the SBA’s inspector general, Politico reports said. The figure amounts to about 37 percent of the total amount of funds issued by the SBA via programs intended to support small businesses during the coronavirus crisis. The report warned that as much as $78 billion may have been fraudulently obtained or provided to businesses that were not eligible for aid. As much as $58 billion may have been issued to businesses that applied twice for funding, while $13.4 was reportedly sent to bank accounts that did not match account information stated on initial applications. In the report, Inspector General Hannibal “Mike” Ware said the SBA “lowered the guardrails” in order to accelerate support for small businesses.