FBI, This Week: Recovery Asset Team Helps Return Stolen Funds to Victims


April 26, 2019

An FBI team dedicated to preventing and combating business email compromise, a prevalent online scam, is increasing the amount of stolen funds it recovers for victims.


Audio Transcript

Mollie Halpern: An FBI team dedicated to preventing and combating a prevalent online scam is increasing the amount of stolen funds it recovers for victims.

The Recovery Asset Team focuses on business email compromise, or BEC, which cost victims at least $1.2 billion globally last year after criminals conned them into conducting unauthorized transfers of funds. 

Time is critical when dealing with BEC, so the team streamlines communication by working directly with domestic financial institutions to freeze funds before they’ve been transferred.

Established in February of 2018, Unit Chief Donna Gregory says the team proved its worth in its first year.

Donna Gregory: Since the implementation of the Recovery Asset Team, there were $257 million in domestic losses, and the team was able to recover more than $192 million, which is a 75 percent recovery rate.

Halpern: Compare that with a 30 percent recovery rate—which is what the FBI was seeing before the team was created.

Gregory urges victims to report the fraud immediately and thoroughly.

Gregory: Fill out the complaint in its entirety, putting in as much information as possible to help us quickly address the complaints.

Halpern: Efforts are already underway to add analysts and enhance the team through technology. Report Internet crimes to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov. With FBI, This Week, I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau.

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