In conjunction with National Cybersecurity Awareness month, Bank of Southern California is sharing tips to help protect your business from email compromise scams. In these scams, cybercriminals gain access to an employee’s legitimate business email through social engineering or computer intrusion. They impersonate the employee and instruct others to transfer funds on their behalf.

To help protect your business from email compromise attacks, follow these five techniques:

  1. Educate your employees. Employees are the first line of defense against scams. A strong security program paired with education about the warning signs, safe practices, and responses, are essential to keeping your company and customers safe.
  2. Protect your online environment. It is important to protect your cyber environment. Do not use unprotected internet connections. Encrypt sensitive data and keep updated virus protections on your computer. Be sure to use complex passwords and change them periodically.
  3. Use alternative communication channels to verify significant requests. Have multiple methods outside of email – such as phone numbers or alternate email addresses – to ensure the request is valid.
  4. Be wary of sudden changes in business practices or contacts. If an employee, customer or vendor suddenly asks to be contacted via their personal e-mail address, verify the request through known, official and previously used correspondence.
  5. Be wary of requests marked “urgent” or “confidential.” Fraudsters often instill a sense of urgency, fear or secrecy to compel the employee to facilitate the request without consulting others. Use an alternative communication channel outside of email to confirm the request.

To learn additional more, view the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center’s public service announcement.


Bank of Southern California is committed to providing resources to help keep our clients’ assets safe and secure. To learn more about how to grow and protect your business, call 858.847.4780 or visit us in person at one of our many offices conveniently located throughout Southern California.