Invoice fraud

Fraudsters can pretend to be someone your business knows, like a supplier or client, to send either:

  • a message that their bank account details have changed, or
  • a fake invoice.

Their goal is to get a payment or future payments sent to an account they own.

In this guide, we look at how this scam works and what your business can do to avoid it. 

Has your business been targeted by fraudsters?

Contact us right away to report a scam. We can then guide you on what to do next.

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Watch this video to find out how an invoice scam works and how to avoid it.

Tips to beat invoice fraud

  • Fraudsters will do lots of research so they can target any kind of business. This helps them to pretend to be someone trustworthy, and to choose the best time to try the scam.

    How do they get in touch?

    They can use all kinds of methods to contact your business, from letters on headed note paper to phone calls.

    But their favourite is to send an email that’s a copy of a genuine message. They can even break into an email account of a person or business you know to reply to an earlier chain of messages.

    What do fraudsters send?

    Their message will be about a payment. It could change payment details to a new account. Or it could attach an invoice with new payment details.

    If you pay without checking, the money will go to the fraudsters account. And it’s very hard for your business to recover money that’s lost this way

  • Fraudsters can copy genuine emails and amend details and attachments like invoices. To avoid this scam, make sure your business follows these rules.

    Double-check any changes

    If a person or business you pay changes their payment details or sends a new invoice, call them to double-check.

    Call your single point of contact (SPOC) if you have one. Always use a phone number you trust, not one from an email or invoice.

    Fraudsters are hoping that you pay without checking. If this happens, it’s very hard for your business to get the money back.

    Set up a SPOC

    A SPOC is a person or team you can talk to at another business you pay who can confirm an invoice or change of details.

    If you set one up, it makes it easier to double-check things and can help to avoid invoice fraud.

    Train your staff

    Make sure your staff know about this type of fraud and how to avoid it.

    Clearly write down a method that covers how to deal with invoices and changes to payments or other details.

    Keep this document close at hand so it’s easy to find and follow. Share it with your team and make sure colleagues follow the process at all times.

    Learn more about invoice fraud on our interactive training video

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