Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Crackdown on BEC Schemes: 100 Arrested in Europe, Man Charged in US

Authorities in Hungary have arrested close to a hundred individuals as part of two operations meant to crack down on invoice fraud, Europol announced this week.

Authorities in Hungary have arrested close to a hundred individuals as part of two operations meant to crack down on invoice fraud, Europol announced this week.

Also referred to as business email compromise (BEC), invoice fraud involves impersonating or compromising email addresses of employees at one organization and then sending fake invoices to partner companies, to request fund transfers.

The emails are typically sent to executives or individuals authorized to make payments and carry legitimate-looking invoices that ask the recipient to make a payment to a bank account owned by the attackers.

The Budapest Metropolitan Police has dismantled two crime rings that defrauded roughly 90 organizations of approximately €2.8 million (~$2.85 million). The operations were carried out in November 2021, but their details were only disclosed now due to operational reasons.

“The criminals would impersonate a service company to inform their victims that the service company now had a new bank account to which the payments for the provided services should be sent,” said Europol, which provided support to the Hungarian authorities during the operations.

The law enforcement agency also noted that the attackers were using a sophisticated money laundering infrastructure in an attempt to prevent authorities from tracing their illegal gains.

Also this week, the US Department of Justice announced charges against Timothy Scott Marable, 50, from Lake Placid, Florida, who allegedly participated in a BEC scheme between November 2019 and August 2020.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

According to the indictment, as part of the scheme, Marable received more than $2.7 million in fraudulent transfers to various bank accounts he owned. Companies in Alabama, Ohio, Idaho, and Texas fell victim to the BEC scheme, the DoJ says.

Marable has been charged with two counts of wire fraud.

According to the FBI, losses from BEC fraud have surpassed $43 billion globally. Last year, the agency’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received close to 20,000 BEC complaints with estimated adjusted losses of $2.4 billion.

Related: FBI Warns of BEC Scams Abusing Virtual Meeting Platforms

Related: FBI: 65 People Arrested Worldwide in BEC Bust

Related: Nigerian Authorities Arrest 11 Members of Prolific BEC Fraud Group

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

SecurityWeek’s Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit brings together security practitioners from around the world to share war stories on breaches, APT attacks and threat intelligence.


Securityweek’s CISO Forum will address issues and challenges that are top of mind for today’s security leaders and what the future looks like as chief defenders of the enterprise.


Expert Insights

Related Content


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.


Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group informed some customers last week that their online accounts had been breached by hackers.


As it evolves, web3 will contain and increase all the security issues of web2 – and perhaps add a few more.


A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...


Satellite TV giant Dish Network confirmed that a recent outage was the result of a cyberattack and admitted that data was stolen.


Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Artificial Intelligence

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

Artificial Intelligence

The degree of danger that may be introduced when adversaries start to use AI as an effective weapon of attack rather than a tool...