Double-check emailed bills to prevent fake invoice scams

Fake invoice scams on the rise according to the BBB
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 5:42 PM CST
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InvestigateTV - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported $2.3 billion were lost in 2022 to overall imposter scams. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has kept a close eye on one particular form of imposter scams on the rise - fake invoice scams. The scheme starts when fraudsters send fake invoices to individuals and businesses along with a link to pay. The issue is the invoice isn’t real and instead sends you to a con artist hoping to steal your personal and financial information by posing as an agent of a legitimate business or payment app.

Julianne Ohlander is a senior data analyst with BeenVerified, a background check company. The company recently noticed a spike in imposter scams complaints tied to payment apps.

Ohlander explained that, in general, payment apps are very safe to use, but since they are not banks, they do not offer the same form of fraud protection for consumers. Josh Planos with the Better Business Bureau said scammers will personalize the attack by studying their potential victims before the first email. For instance, they will invoice for items and services they think you might use, like office supplies and web services.

Planos and Ohleander shared several tips for protecting yourself against these schemes:

  • Look closely at the email addresses and make sure they match the company requesting funds
  • Check invoices for misspellings or poor grammar - this can be a red flag for fraud
  • If you receive a request for payment through an app, log in to your app account to see if the request has posted to your account

PayPal, one of the major cash apps, is aware of this scam. In a statement they encouraged customers to be vigilant online and contact customer service directly if consumers suspect they’re a target.

If you think you have received a fraudulent request of been a victim of a fake invoice scam, you can report it to the BBB Scam tracker.