You may have heard of news of how a scammer in Europe targeted Firms like Facebook and google and scammed them out of more than $100 Million by setting up fake businesses and generating fake invoices. He was eventually caught but it shows how far the scammers will go to make a living out of scamming people and also businesses.
Here is the Link to the news
There is another news from New Zealand where a scammer sent fake invoices to a motel’s customers pretending to be from the motel and demanding ridiculous amount.
Here’s the link to the news
These scams are often targeted towards smaller businesses. Scammers will do their research and filter the potential clients for these businesses and get hold of the company’s invoice format and send out a similar looking invoice and amount with OBVIOUSLY a changed bank account number. These invoices sometimes do look very professional and if Facebook and Google could fall for this so can any business.
Here are few steps you could take to not fall for such a scam.
- If the invoice is for an unusual amount always check with right department before paying it.
- Always make sure the Bank account is for a country you know you are doing business with. For example if the bank account is from U.K and you or your company clearly don’t do any business with foreign clients .DO Not pay any money in to that account before matching up all aspects of the invoice with your staff or the accounts department.
- Always check the contact details. If in doubt DO NOT HESITATE to call the number provided in the invoice. If someone picks up phone you can surely figure out within 5minutes of talking to them if it’s a legitimate employee from a company you deal with or a scam.
- Always use the option “Save Payee” and bank details in the online banking for people you deal with on regular basis. If the bank account has been changed in an invoice next time you pay someone from your payee list online It should be a RED FLAG and you can check with the company if their details have changed.