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Invoice email scam

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Beware of invoice email scams seeking payment re-direction.

Scammers pretend to be legitimate suppliers advising changes to payment arrangement. It may not be detected until the business is alerted by complaints from suppliers that payments were not received.

Sound account keeping practices can help guard against falling victim to this scam. Have a clearly defined process for verifying and paying accounts and invoices.

How these scams work

  • Scammers hack into a business email accounts and obtain information such as customer lists, bank details and previous invoices.
  • You receive an email, supposedly from a business, requesting a wire transfer to a new or different bank account.
  • The scammers either disguise their email address or create a new address that looks nearly identical.
  • The email may look to be from a genuine supplier and often copy a business’s logo and message format. It may also contain links to websites that are convincing fakes of the real company’s homepage or links to the real homepage itself.
  • The scam email requests a change to usual billing arrangements and asks you to transfer money to a different account.

Protect yourself

  • Have a clearly defined process for verifying and paying accounts and invoices.
  • If you receive such a request, contact the business on their registered contact number to seek verification of the email’s authenticity.
  • DO NOT call any telephone number listed in the email; instead, use contact details that you already have on file for the business, or that you have sourced independently – for example, from a telephone directory.
  • Double check email addresses - scammers can create a new account which is very close to the real one; if you look closely you can usually spot the fake.
  • DO NOT pay, give out or clarify any information until you have looked into the matter further.
  • Check your IT systems for viruses or malware - always keep your computer security up-to-date with anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a good firewall.

Report

You can report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch report a scam page.

This information is brought to you by South West Credit, Warrnambool's Home Loan Centre 

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