In an effort to keep our customers’ information and finances safe we would like to warn you about a scam/fraud that has been happening that includes our company name and logo.
There is someone who has been sending out fake invoices using our company name and logo. The invoices look nothing like the ones we send out however, they are very well done and therefore, believable. The process they are using to get these paid though is very complex.
What happens is they spoof an email address from inside the company that they want to pay the invoice. The email usually comes from a manager inside of the company and goes to the accounting department requesting to pay by ACH. They also copy the signature line of the person sending the email to make it more believable. The invoice will usually be for laboratory refrigerators and from what we have seen, range in price from $17,000 to $25,000. They will also send a PDF document stating the bank account number and routing number. It is their hope that accounting never checks with the person who is sending the email.
This scenario does get stranger, we called the bank that they want the funds sent to. The bank account number does not exist in their records. It is our belief that when the funds do not go through, they then follow up with the person who is supposed to be paying it and request their bank account information so that they can run a manual ACH and run it for much more money than what the invoice states.
If you do receive one of these invoices or emails, we request that you forward us the information and change the password to your email addresses right away. We have reported this matter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
If you feel inclined, we ask that you also report these to the FTC the BBB and, the FBI, through their online portals which are linked below. The more reports and evidence we have, the better chance we have at Federal Authorities getting involved.
It is obvious that these fraudsters are trying to take advantage of people working from home and the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are unsure of an invoice that you receive, please call to confirm its validity with us. We want to keep our customers as safe as possible. Below are some tips to help keep you safe.
-Be cautious when processing invoices. Ensure your accounts payable personnel are aware of the prevalence of scams and are cautious when processing invoices.
-Verify unfamiliar vendors. Don’t purchase from new suppliers or pay invoices from unfamiliar vendors until you verify their existence and reliability
-Check Invoices against original orders. Check all invoices against original orders and order numbers for all purchases. Be wary of anything else.
-Don’t be in a rush to pay. Protect your company’s assets by withholding payment until all information is verified.
FBI fraud link- https://www.ic3.gov/
FTC fraud link- https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/
BBB fraud link- https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/reportscam
E-mail address to send fraud information to: email@example.com
E-mail of our accounting department: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kimberly A. Robinson