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watch out for invoice scams!

Invoice scams are not just affecting companies, but also unsuspecting consumers who pay fake invoices instead of the real ones.

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Everybody should be more alert when paying their accounts, because even scammers with low-level technical skills are still able to catch consumers and businesses unawares.

How it works

A scammer will intercept one of your real invoices and alter it slightly before it gets to you. The changes usually include inflating the amount; duplicating it; or by creating a new, false invoice. These fake invoices also change the original banking details to that of the fraudster’s. The fraudulent invoice will most likely come from an email address that mimics that of the supplier’s. Often, they email the customer with very convincing reasons and instructions on why and how their banking details should be changed. After paying the invoice, the customer thinks it has been settled, but they just paid the fraudster, and the real invoice remains unpaid.

How to avoid being a victim of a fraudulent invoice

  • Always confirm the credibility of the invoice before paying. Contact the supplier directly either by telephone or an official email address to confirm any change in bank details
  • If an invoice looks unprofessional with spelling mistakes and poor design it should raise a red flag
  • Look out for other discrepancies such as invoices dated on a weekend; the amount is a perfect round number; the address is faulty; and the supporting documents don’t match
  • Check that quantities, pricing amounts or other numbers on the invoice match and are in line with your order and previous invoices

What to do if you’ve fallen victim to fraud

  • Contact our Client Care Centre on 0860 102 043 immediately to report the issue. Criminals will often attempt to transfer the funds out of the receiving account to hamper the recovery process. Our team will make contact with the fraudster’s bank, who will then freeze the account and begin the recovery process
  • Report the incident to the South African Police Service who will issue you with a case number and an affidavit

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