Email is a very convenient means of communicating, you can send an email now knowing it will patiently wait for the receiver to read it. This ease of use has increased the popularity of email so much that now many businesses send their invoices to customers and other businesses this way. However we are seeing an increase in fraud on invoices delivered by email.
Unfortunately the downfall of email is that it is a very unsecure method of communicating. So much so that someone can intercept an email, change all of the contents and forward it on without the sender or customer ever knowing. New emails can be sent from a business address without the owner of the email address ever knowing as well. This means that there is lots of opportunity for the fraudsters to intercept a legitimate invoice, change the bank account details and the amount owing as well as any other details and forwarding it to the unsuspecting customer who pays the wrong people but still owes the supplier for their services. So they end up paying twice!
So, what can you do? How can you know the details you receive on an invoice are unaltered or that follow up email is legitimate? We suggest you always contact the supplier by telephone to check the details before making a payment. And don’t use the phone number on the invoice as it may be altered as well, use a known telephone number or get contact details from another source like the yellow pages.
It pays to be cautious, emailed invoices are not going away so we need to be vigilant.