Are you a business owner? Do you handle the bills and invoices for a business? Be on the lookout for Invoice Fraud.
Invoice Fraud is when a business receives a bill for a service or supplies that it never agreed to purchase. The invoice looks like a legitimate bill. It may include language implying that legal action will be taken if it is not paid immediately. Sometimes substandard office supplies are shipped to the business out of the blue, then a bill shows up. Some scammers make phone calls demanding payment, but usually the bills show up in the mail or email.
Of course, if the business pays the invoice, that money just goes to the scam artist who sent the fake bill. These con artists bank on poor communication between departments. This increases the chance that someone will pay a fake bill.
Some of the most popular invoice scams involve online services, especially “online directory” listings and website address renewals. While there may be times when it makes sense to pay for a directory listing (your local chambers of commerce, for example), never blindly pay an invoice for an entry on some random website. Some scammers call asking to confirm details from a legitimate online directory, then send a bill. Make sure you always know whom a bill is coming from.
Your business probably manages its own website domain name. However, bills for “domain name renewal” will show up, claiming your URL is about to expire. Don’t pay more than you have to. Renew through the original domain registrar. They send email reminders when your URL is going to expire.
The best way to prevent Invoice Fraud is to communicate and be organized. Keep track of everything your business purchases, and never pay any bill without matching it up to a verified expense.