There is no denying that business email compromise (BEC) is big business, with losses exceeding a billion dollars in the United States in the last year alone. Globally, BEC attacks have cost more than $13 billion in the last five years. Chances are likely that you’ve probably been a recipient of one of these social-engineered emails yourself. But the question remains… who is behind these increasingly sophisticated email attacks, and why did they become so popular in recent years?

When the Agari Cyber Intelligence Division released our report on London Blue in December, much of the focus was on how cybercriminals use legitimate lead generation services to identify their targets. Research we released today into a different cybergang—one we’ve named Scarlet Widow—shows how Nigerian criminals take a different tactic against more vulnerable institutions.

With Valentine’s Day celebrated around the world, today is a day full of love and joy—especially for those in committed relationships. People around the globe are celebrating their relationships by sending flowers and chocolates, enjoying fancy dinners, and writing love notes in greeting cards. Unfortunately, not all relationships are legitimate, and not everyone sees today as a celebration of love.