That Was Close…

You hear about scams on the internet all the time.

I don’t know about you, but I always feel like it will never happen to me?

Well, this time it nearly did.

Last week we sent an invoice out to a regular customer of ours. Just a standard invoice covering his customs, duty etc.

We sent it from my usual invoicing software to his usual email address.

Everything was the same as normal. Nothing weird happened. No signs that anything has gone awry.

The next thing I know, he’s on the phone to my colleague Ali.

“Hey Ali”, he said.

“Got your invoice and I’m just about to pay it but I noticed your bank details have changed.”

Ali said, “Huh? I don’t know what you mean? The bank details are the same as always?”

“I’ve just double-checked and they are definitely different.” He replied.

At this point, alarm bells started to ring.

So we dug a little deeper and sure enough, the bank details on the invoice he received were not ours.

But what’s even weirder is that they were not the same as the ones on the invoice I had sent.

Somehow the invoice had been intercepted and the bank details changed before it reached him.

This could have been disastrous!

This invoice alone was worth £3,000, so no small chunk of change.

Had he just paid it without querying the change he’d have had little hope of ever recovering that money.

And he would have still had to pay his customs and excise duties…The taxman is not known for his sympathetic nature…

So it’s a good lesson to learn. Should you ever get an invoice from us, or any supplier, that has new bank details on it – pick up the phone and check it’s correct before you send the money over.

Otherwise, it could be a costly mistake…

PS – It seems there’s no shortage of scammers out there, ready and willing to take hard-working people’s money. Hidden behind the internet there’s not much the police can do. But there is one man who’s taking it into his own hands and giving these scammers a taste of their own medicine. If you’re up for a laugh today have a watch.