North Carolina county falls for BEC scam, to the tune of $1,728,083

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The North Carolina county of Cabarrus, in the US, says that it’s managed to claw back only some of the $2,504,601 it paid to a scammer posing as a contractor working on building a new high school.

The crooks used social engineering – specifically, what’s known as a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam – to pose as Branch and Associates, which is a general contractor that’s working on building a new school for the Cabarrus County Schools District.

The scam came to light after Branch and Associates sent a courtesy notice about a missed payment on 8 January. County staff confirmed that the electronic funds transfer (EFT) had, in fact, cleared the month before.

County officials next notified the bank to which the $2.5m was transferred, Bank of America. The bank managed to freeze $776,518.40 of the $2,504,601 that remained in traceable accounts.

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