It’s not just online scammers you have to worry about. These schemers are casting lines through the mail, too, in hopes someone might take the bait. The United States Postal Inspection Service says these false invoice scams rake in billions of dollars every year. The biggest target: businesses and non-profit organizations. One popular phishing scam recently swam its way into Nacogdoches, so we decided to put together some tips and tricks to keep your business off the hook.
Read Carefully and then Read Again
Phishing invoices, like the one included here from “Web Host Agents,” often appear legitimate, with a phone number, address, and website all included. These invoices will request payment for various goods and services, like:
- Annual web hosting
- Chemical and cleaning products
- Compliance services
- Directory listing
- Domain name
- Magazine subscriptions
- Membership dues
- Repair services
- Toner, paper and other office supplies
Many of these fake invoices will use threatening or confusing legal jargon to create a false sense of urgency, or, in the case of the “Web Host Agents” scam seen in Nacogdoches, the letter will state it’s not an invoice, rather an “easy means of payment” to keep your services going for another year.
Whatever the case, it’s important to carefully read the statement and consider whether you placed such an order or if you’ve ever dealt with the business before.
Always trust your instinct. If an invoice doesn’t look right, there are some easy steps you can follow to protect your business.
First and foremost, make your accounts payable personnel aware of these fake scams and urge them to use caution when processing invoices.
If you do receive an invoice that’s unfamiliar, don’t be in a rush to pay. Verify all information, including that of the vendor, before sending payment. Check the invoice against original purchase orders and account numbers, too.
When in doubt, research the company with the Better Business Bureau or the state Attorney General’s office.
Your security is important to us. We hope these tips will help keep your business safe and secure!
From your friendly friends,