Cybercriminals Steal Large Food Shipments From US Suppliers

Scammers have stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shipments from US food suppliers, the federal agencies warned.

In a joint Cybersecurity Advisory, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, and the US Department of Agriculture say that cybercriminals use the business email compromise (BEC) technique.

According to Cybernews, it means that the unnamed criminal groups set up email accounts impersonating top executives of food companies and then convinced their suppliers to ship them truckloads of powdered milk.

For example, in February 2022, four different fraudulent companies placed large orders for whole milk powder and nonfat dry milk from a food manufacturer. The orders, valued at almost $600,000, were picked up, and the victim company was unaware something was wrong until they did not receive payment.

The federal agencies warned that criminals might repackage stolen products for individual sale without regard for food safety regulations and sanitation practices. This poses the risk of contamination or omitting necessary information about ingredients, allergens, or expiration dates.

“Counterfeit goods of lesser quality can damage a company’s reputation,” the advisory said.

BEC is one of the most financially damaging online crimes. Last year alone, victims of BEC reported losses of almost $2.4 billion to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.


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