Large enterprise companies often have multiple locations, complex accounts payable, and more than one person or department who can authorize payments. Sophisticated accounting controls give managers the sense that they are “air-tight” when it comes to identifying fraudulent invoices. Surely mega-publisher Condé Nast and retail giant Best Buy felt that way, but even they were duped into paying $8 million and $900,000 in scams, respectively! It is critical for every type of business to recognize the threat of invoice scams and to take the necessary steps to avoid falling prey.
If you are representing an enterprise company, and would like to secure yourself against phony invoice scams, we recommend incorporating the following items into your business’ day-to-day operations:
2.) Accounting Controls Test
3.) Staff Training
4.) Alert Notification
We have the industry’s most robust and comprehensive database of known invoice scams. There is no other database of its kind! There are other organizations that have bits and pieces of this information (BBB, FTC, State Attorneys General, etc.) but no one has put forth to concerted effort to gather, centralize, and continually update this data for the purposes of Vendor/Payment Verification. We’ll compare your master vendor list against this database to make sure there is no suspicious activity.
We scour thousands of data points EVERY week, to ensure we have the most up-to-date information on active and emerging scams. If you haven’t already made the connection, our product is very much like the Anti-Virus Solution to personal computing. Anti-Virus users install a piece of software that gets continually updated to check for any and all known viruses. Instead of a known virus database, we have a known scammer database; and instead of protecting a personal computer or network, we are protecting your entire accounts payable!
Accounting Controls Test
Every enterprise company has a set of accounting controls. Even with the most advanced and careful methods and procedures in place, there is always going to be human error; nothing is ever “air-tight.” Our Accounting Controls Test will evaluate the effectiveness of the controls you have in place, and by doing so, it will draw attention to areas that might need improvement.
Over time, we’ll put your processes through a series of tests designed to mimic a wide variety of phony invoice tactics. That’s right, we are going to use real world scam tactics and employ them against your company! This is similar to penetration testing in the network security industry. We will start invoicing you with general phonies, escalating to more targeted and focused attempts. At some point we may pose as one of your current vendors. This will give us valuable insight into the security of your current Accounts Payable processes. Of course it also goes without saying, if you are duped into paying a phony invoice, we will VOID the check and return it to you within 7 business days.
At the close of the Accounting Controls Test, we’ll come in and perform a 3-hour staff training session. We’ll go over the results of the test and identify where improvements can be made. We will also introduce your staff to various types of emerging scams and what they should be looking for. The problem is big. Most intelligent people in the payables function at a company are at least somewhat aware of it, but most don’t truly recognize the full significance and scope of it. Our education services keep our clients and community up-to-date on every activity relevant to the phony invoice industry.
Criminals are getting rich on phony invoice schemes and it’s not by being dumb or complacent. They are constantly switching up their methods, making them a moving target. Our email alert system is designed to keep your key staff up-to-date with the latest scams. As new scams are discovered, you’ll receive detailed information about how to spot the scam and avoid being a victim. Let us help protect your organization. Take advantage of the PhonyInvoices alert system by signing up below to receive our e-newsletter and invoice scam alerts. /alert-system/