SCHOTT Advanced Optics asks customers and suppliers to be very careful
If you ever receive a letter in which you are asked to change the bank data for engaging in electronic banking with a customer or supplier, you should definitely look into the matter more closely. If, for example, the company logo printed on the letter is blurred, this should make you feel suspicious. The reason is that forged invoices and accompanying letters are often printed on scanned copies of company stationery. Furthermore, the contact details can differ slightly from the known data you have been using, if, for instance the end of the e-mail address has been changed to .org or co.uk.
You can lower the risk of fraud by taking the following precautions:
Arrange to have a personal contact with companies you deal with on a regular basis just in case you have any questions.
Have your personal contact confirm that the bank data has actually been changed before you make any changes.
Also instruct employees who are authorized to make payments to carefully check invoices for possible changes in the bank data. If in doubt, contact your personal contact immediately.
Look into previous requests to enter new bank data to make sure that these were not fraud attempts.
Please also keep in mind that electronic payments can often be made using only the bank code and account number. The name of the owner of the account is not checked on a routine basis as part of the automated payment process, therefore it is up to the person making the payment to make sure the account details used to transfer payment are in fact correct.
There were a number of cases of invoice fraud in the UK only recently. And they certainly didn’t involve peanuts. According to the British National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), the damages amounted to more than 150 million British pounds. So, please take precautions with the electronic payments you make!