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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Attorney General Andy Beshear has issued a Scam Alert warning government organizations and small businesses to be cautious of a “business email compromise” scam.

Officials say they have received several reports of a scam in central and eastern Kentucky, with losses totaling more than $8,000.

Officials says the scammer creates an employee email account or hacks into a legitimate account and sends an email to another employee asking him or her to initiate an emergency wire fund transfer.

“The business email compromise scam is a serious danger to Kentucky businesses and governmental organizations,” Beshear said. “Our office is working to protect Kentuckians every day, and the recent reports we have received on the sophisticated nature of this scam is cause for concern for all business owners and government leaders.”

Beshear’s Office offers these tips from the Better Business Bureau to help protect from the scam:

• Avoid free online email accounts by creating a company domain name and establish company email accounts.
• Review IT security procedures and consider implementing a two-step verification process for wire transfers and for spending approvals.
• Warn staff to be suspicious of out-of-the-ordinary emails for a spending request, especially if those emails request confidentiality or insist quick action.
• Be careful about details shared on company websites and social media accounts. Business descriptions, hierarchical information and out-of-office details are sources of information for hackers and scammers.
Kentuckians who suspect a scam should contact the Office of the Attorney General at 502-696-5300 and fill out an online complaint form. Beshear recently issued a scam alert warning Kentuckians of IRS and tax-related identity theft scams and a Facebook customer service scam..

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