Invoice Scams Against Small Businesses Increasing

Over the past week or so, we have seen a dramatic shift of the quality of fraud attempts via email, which has been highlighted in a BBC News article.

Over the past months we have been swamped by obviously dodgy emails saying things like ‘please pay your invoice’ or here is your remittance advice’.  Apart from their construction, these were easily spotted as fake as they either came many times from one person or they came from different people, but with the same subject.

Over the past week or so, we have started to get more emails, which are dramatically different, because not only do they look professional, they are also personalised and from apparently legitimate companies. Also, they were invoices for services that we would never have used. When you are a smaller business it is probably easier to spot these, as one or two people tend to manage everything. However, when you start growing, you will introduce more people, some of which may have authority to make payments.

This is where the opportunity for fraud increases.

The other growing issue is where you are contacted by someone to pay a legitimate invoice to a different bank account. This mainly occurs when your suppliers data/systems have been compromised. In either case, common sense rules and any suspicions should be addressed.

Please be diligent and, if you have any stories of where you were compromised or scammed, please let us know so we can make the community aware.

Here is the BBC article – please read it and make sure that you do not fall fowl of these criminals.