Beware of Fake Invoice Scams

The fake invoice scam is making the rounds in the region once again. While usually targeting businesses, units of government can be vulnerable as well. Monroe City, Missouri, a town of about 4,000 people, recently got taken for about $177,000.

The scammers attempt to fool employees into paying for products that the business didn’t order and that may not even exist. Better Business Bureau Investigator Don O’Brien warns you should be wary of all invoices.

“If you have somebody who handles your bills, we do a lot of multi-factor authentication now when we go online. Try to create a process for inspecting your invoices, always make sure a couple sets of eyes look at an invoice before you just blindly pay it. I know the bigger the organization, the tougher that is, but it really is important because now the small little community up in the northeast part of Missouri; they were going to use some of that money for roads and other improvements to that town, which they cannot make now because it got taken.”

Fake invoices can be for any product or service; the most common are office supplies, website or domain hosting services, and directory listings which may be referred to as a “renewal”. And train your staff. Make sure that the people processing invoices or answering phone calls are aware of this con. Scammers are great at mimicking official seals, fonts, and other details.

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