False invoices and false invoicing
fraud continues to be one of the main ways employees, contractors and third parties defraud Australian businesses.
Examples of the recent types of false invoices in Australia have included:
- Supplier or contractor provides an invoice for work never done or inflates the value or amount of work actually done. This can be done either in collusion with an employee, which makes it much more difficult to identify, or in the hope that the employee responsible will just approve the false invoice without necessarily questioning it.
- A staff member creates false invoices and approves them within their delegation level despite the work never being done. The supplier was initially requested to be established by them in the first place. Either they are the Directors of the business, or someone that is close to them.
- The business receives an email from one of its supplier asking to update their bank account details and you update them accordingly. Unfortunately, the email address of your supplier has been compromised by a third party scammer and the bank account details have been changed to those of the scammer. The next step is that your supplier’s invoice is received for legitimate work. Your business then processes and pays the invoice. However, the funds never goes to your legitimate supplier. It goes to the scammer’s bank account. You may not find out about this until your legitimate supplier chases your business for payment.
- You are sent what looks like a legitimate invoice from an organisation that you are not familiar with. The invoice looks legitimate. Someone mistakenly claims the invoice and approves the false invoice for payment. This type of basic invoice is still widespread.
- External scammers intercept legitimate invoices sent via email to your business and alter the payment details to include fraudulent payment information. Your organisation receives the false invoice and processes it as normal, paying the invoice without realising you have been scammed.
Warfield & Associates has vast experience in investigating these types of false invoice fraud.
In the event that your business suffers one of these types of fraud, it is important to act quickly. You can contact Warfield & Associates for help.