Don't trust email when making a payment! Email fraud is on the rise.
A common scheme involves email accounts that are either hacked or spoofed by fraudsters who then start communicating with an employee in the payables area. The employee receives an email that appears to be from the CEO or CFO requesting an important payment, or from a trusted vendor requesting a payment along with a change in wire transfer instructions. The email raises no suspicion as it has the logo and contact information, appears to be coming from the proper email address, and there may have even been some light conversation in the email exchange. The employee aims to please and promptly makes the payment only to find out later the email was fraudulent.
Wire transfers are the most common payment vehicle because they are final payment; however, ACH and check payments are also involved in some cases. In any case, fraudsters act quickly and it is unlikely to recover the funds.
What can you do?
- Make it a policy that no payment be made based on email instruction without proper verification.
- Pick up the phone and speak directly with the individual requesting a payment through email – even if the email is internal.
- Contact the vendor directly to confirm any changes in payment instructions.
- Carefully review all payments before they are sent to ensure everything is in order before the payment is made.
- Call us immediately if you realize a fraudulent payment has gone out, we will do what we can to help you.
Please call us at 952-830-7253 if you have additional questions.
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