In an increasingly digital world, cunning criminals have found sophisticated means to defraud unsuspecting businesses. One such scam that has recently been gaining momentum is the invoice scam.
This scam involves the hijacking of a supplier’s email account by crafty criminals, who then send an invoice to the supplier’s clients. The catch? The payment details on the invoice have been deviously altered to direct towards a fraudulent or mule account. The invoice, appearing perfectly genuine, typically does not raise any suspicions, leading the business to unwittingly fulfill the payment, tragically into the hands of the swindlers.
There is also a variation of this scam where the business receives a seemingly innocent request to update payment details to a new supplier or employee account. Alas, these new accounts are nothing more than another avenue for the thieves to siphon money from the unsuspecting business.
However, these pernicious tricks of the fraudulent trade can be averted. It is crucial to double-check the payment details on the invoice against the last one. If there has been a change or a request to change them to a new account, do not proceed with the transaction. Take a moment to call the supplier or sender to verify the legitimacy of the request, but ensure to use a previously known or publicly listed number and definitely not the one on the new invoice or email.
Consider discussing with your bank about implementing additional security measures in your account. These could include a security token, dual authorisation and segregation of duties.
In the event of falling prey to such a scam, urgent contact should be made to your bank to request the Anti-Scam Investigations Team.
While the bank will endeavor to recover the lost funds, it is important to note that retrieval is not always guaranteed.
In these trying times, it is imperative to remain vigilant and informed, to protect your hard-earned money from falling into the wrong hands. Learn more about protecting your business from invoice scams to safeguard your financial future.