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Invoice and mandate scams

Invoice fraud happens when a criminal sends a fake invoice, or bill, asking you to pay for goods or services.

It might look like this:

  • a criminal pretends to be one of your suppliers, business contacts or even a colleague. They do this by hacking their email system, or by sending you a request by fax or post that seems genuine
  • they trick you into changing the bank account details for an outstanding/future payment. They could also pretend to be a senior colleague and ask you to make a new payment
  • the message will usually urge you to pay straight away
  • your money is then paid to the criminals bank account.

How to spot invoice fraud

  • The main thing you should look out for, is unusual grammar and spelling mistakes. Also any requests to change your usual payment details.
  • If the invoice comes in the post on headed paper, look out for minor discrepancies. This could be a change in font or a change in the usual payment details.
  • Your contacts email address may be altered very slightly to give the impression that it’s correct, but it is in fact fraudulent. Instead, you might receive an email directly from someone you've dealt with before, but their account may have been hacked or spoofed.

Protect yourself.

Before paying a new bill or changing existing details make sure you confirm the payment request is genuine.

Always call a number you know to be genuine for recipient or check in person.