According to ACCC’s Scamwatch, Australian businesses lost $2.8 million to fake invoices in 2017, and almost $5 million in 2018, showing this type of scam is on the rise.

A fake invoice works because it usually includes all the information a finance team would expect to see, including purchase order numbers, legitimate-looking line items, and reasonable amounts.

A business should consider automated accounts payable solutions such as Receipt Bank, and purchase orders and approval processes can be put in place to spot fake invoices. Other automated cross-checking systems can also be put in place where a high volume of supplier invoices is processed.

Another typical invoice scam and one which should raise particular red flags involves a change of bank details, either by way of letter, or change of bank details on an invoice. Scammers typically duplicate company documents and impersonate email addresses to add validity to the change of bank account details. A simple procedure to identify this type of scam is to require a phone call to suppliers confirming the bank account details have indeed changed.