Pay and be Scammed!

"David Balwin

CPA | Accountant | Business Advisor

Busy business owners are a major target for invoice fraud.

Invoice fraud can take a number of forms and scammers are relying on heavy workloads and insufficient procedures and controls within businesses to succeed.

Examples of invoice fraud include fake invoices for advertising in bogus directories and magazines, as well as for subscriptions which were never taken up.

To avoid being scammed, it is suggested that business owners:

· be suspicious of unsolicited emails, letters and phone calls;

· keep good accounting records;

· always approve purchases in writing;

· do not pay any invoices unless you have the paper work;

· ensure accounting staff operate under controlled procedures; and

· check for scam alerts through relevant government agencies

If you use a bookkeeper, ensure proper controls over data processing and the bank account.  It is suggested that the roles should be separated with different people doing each task.  Also ensure, as much as possible that your bookkeeper is qualified and experienced in looking after your accounts.  Don’t be shy to ask for references and contact those referees!