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Could invoice fraud affect your business?

Author: ICAEW

Published: 11 Mar 2021

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Fraud is a growing threat to every type of organisation. Accountants can play an important role in helping organisations prevent and detect fraud.

ICAEW has created a series of videos examining real-life cases of businesses that have been hit by fraudulent activity. 

In the first video, we highlight the case of a business that lost €500,000 as a result of invoice fraud, and suggest ways that accountants can help to stop it happening in their organisation. 

Invoice fraud often involves cyber criminals tricking organisations into transferring money to them by posing as a regular supplier. The scammer will usually have hacked into the email system of the supplier or acquired a similar domain name to send an invoice that has new bank details (an account belonging to the scammer). These types of fraud are difficult to spot but the changing of bank details should always act as a red flag requiring follow-up checks including a phone call to the supplier.

Omid Tissier, Economic Crime and Ethics Manager at ICAEW, said: "We’ve seen that fraudsters are using increasingly sophisticated techniques. Hackers will often have been monitoring emails over an extended period of time and so know when a regular supplier payment is due to be made. It’s important to ensure that invoices received are compared to previous ones for consistency. Any changes including to bank details can be a sign that the invoice has been produced by a scammer."

Further resources

More information on fraud

Company reform and economic crime

The Economic Crime Act 2022 became law in March and part two of the bill is incoming. From risks to required changes, we explore key considerations for accountants on the issue.

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