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12 Jul 2017
Businesses beware of these three ‘summer’ scams

The summer holiday period is the ideal time for scammers to prey on businesses. Don’t give them any chance to succeed, alert your staff and make them aware of the risks.

When company staff go on holiday, their tasks are usually performed by others. These colleagues will keep the organisation running, even though they may be less experienced. Scammers are keen to capitalize on this. They often use the following tricks to fleece you and your company out of money.

Fake invoices
Every year, there seems to be an increase in the number of fake invoices sent to businesses. These ‘invoices’ are only offers, but are disguised as bills. If you don’t pay attention, you may be stuck to an expensive but useless subscription.

Our advice: always read the small print closely, especially when the ‘invoices’ are written in English. The small print often explains that it’s an offer and there is no obligation to pay. In other words: trash these offers.

CEO impersonation fraud
Companies affected by CEO impersonation scams often lose big sums of money. So watch out! The trick goes like this: scammers pose as the highest boss within a company and often approach the financial departments of foreign subsidiaries of large companies. They tell these admin staff that there is a take-over going on, which calls for a quick and secret transfer of funds.

Of course, if admin personnel stick to company procedures, these scammers won’t stand a chance. Having a temporary person on the admin team to cover for holidaymakers may prove to be a liability.

Our advice: read these two articles:
CEO scammers have a surprise for you
CEO email scams are costing businesses worldwide more than $ 3bn

Invoice fraud
The most common variant of invoice fraud involves criminals intercepting genuine invoices from suppliers and then changing the bank details on the invoice to an account under their control. Of course, they’re hoping that recipients won’t notice that the bank account number has been altered. And the chances that people won’t notice are highest during the holiday season, when temporary staff are tasked with handling invoices.

Our advice: impress on your temporary staff the need to check previous bills and verify whether the account number matches that on earlier invoices. And if they have any doubts, they should contact the supplier/company.

Photo © Justin De La Ornellas/Flickr.comCC BY-NC 2.0.