As the digital landscape continues to evolve, scammers are constantly developing new tactics to exploit unsuspecting individuals and businesses. One such scam that has seen a rise in recent years is the invoice scam, which involves fraudsters sending a fake invoice to a company in an attempt to trick them into making a payment. These scams have become increasingly prevalent in Australia, with the number of reported cases and financial losses increasing each year.
In 2021, there were 21,545 reported invoice scams, resulting in financial losses of $17,303,665, while in 2022, there was a significant increase in reported scams to 27,488, with losses totaling $25,312,185, a rise of 46.3%.
The financial losses reported as a result of an invoice scam in 2022 grew sharply by 46.3%
These scams are often sophisticated and can fool even the most vigilant of operators. For example, Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran lost $388,700 USD as a result of invoicing fraud. The fraudsters impersonated Barbara’s assistant and tricked the bookkeeper into approving the fake email.
How do invoice scams work?
Invoice scams work by hackers gaining access to vendor or supplier email accounts and obtaining sensitive information such as customer lists, bank details, and previous invoices. They then send an email to a business, pretending to be a legitimate supplier, and request a wire transfer to a new or different bank account. The scammers often disguise their email address or create a new address that looks nearly identical, making it difficult for the victim to distinguish between a genuine and a fake email. The email may also contain links to websites that are convincing fakes of the real company’s homepage or links to the real homepage itself.
How do you protect yourself from an invoice scam?
To protect themselves from invoice scams, businesses should verify the legitimacy of any invoices they receive, particularly if they come from an unknown or unexpected source. They should double-check the contact details of the supplier or service provider and, if in doubt, contact them directly to confirm the invoice’s authenticity. Additionally, they should educate their employees about invoice scams and how to spot them, check their IT systems for viruses or malware, ensure that the domain name and bank account details are correct, and reach out to the invoicing company to verify the invoice’s veracity. By taking these practical steps, businesses can protect themselves from falling victim to invoice scams.
Consider a Domain Name Monitoring and Enforcement Solution
Another effective way to protect your business from invoice scams involving fake domain names is to consider a domain name monitoring and enforcement solution. Such programs can detect identical or similar domain names that could be used in fraudulent activities and take action to suspend or delete them. By implementing this solution, you can stay ahead of the scammers and protect your business from falling victim to invoice fraud. In conjunction with the other practical steps mentioned earlier, a domain name monitoring and enforcement solution can significantly reduce the risk of financial loss due to invoice scams.
To find out more about how domain name monitoring counters these types of scams, contact us here.
brandsec is an Australian domain name management provider that offers online brand management solutions to corporate and government organisations.
Our services include domain name management, domain name security, domain name policy development, dispute management, monitoring, and enforcement services. Additionally, brandsec offers a comprehensive online brand protection service that covers various platforms such as websites, social media, email, and online marketplaces. The service addresses issues related to counterfeiting, fakes, copyright infringement, intellectual property (IP) matters, piracy, and other intellectual protection-related issues.