Who falls for these scams? An initial guess might suggest that it’s small businesses with unsophisticated accounting methods and practices, but the reality is much different. Below are links to recent news stories related to phony invoice fraud.
- August, 2013 — Subscribers Scammed by Phony Invoices in Southern Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz. – A phony subscription renewal service claims to do business on behalf of well-known publishers and dupes companies nationwide.
- July, 2013 — Auroran Berryhill Gets 75-Month Prison Term for Defrauding Firms
AURORA, Ohio – A man gets 75 months in jail for defrauding companies with fake invoices and pretending to be from the FBI to solicit payment.
- July, 2013 — Bogus IDBS Bills Designed to Defraud Businesses
BURNSVILLE, Minn. – A web design and development firm sends phony bills to businesses across the nation for unrendered services.
- June, 2013 — Toner Scam Targeting Local Businesses
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A company is duped into paying more than five times what they normally pay for printer toner after an employee unwittingly agreed to place an order with a company that claimed to be their new supplier.
- June, 2013 — SBB Fleeced for Millions
SWITZERLAND – Swiss Federal Railways is out millions of francs after paying phony invoices for fictitious work projects.
- May, 2013 — Better Business Bureau Warns Businesses of Phony Invoice Scam
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Several local business owners complain to the BBB about a company named Local Business Yellow Pages for sending fake invoices/splicing calls to sound as if their employees agreed to place advertisements.
- May, 2013 — Harvey business scammed with fake invoice
AUSTRALIA – An Australian business is defrauded $5,600 with the help of a phony notification letter for changing vendor banking details. Fraudsters also hacked into the business’ computers to access and copy the layout of a legitimate invoice to send with the updated banking information.
- May, 2013 — State officials warn of parking invoice scam
MADISON, Wis. – Fake invoices for phony parking fees are circulating throughout Wisconsin. Officials warn consumers to be on the lookout for these types of fraudulent mailings.
- April, 2013 — Sports-Gear Firm Accused of Bilking Schools
NEWARK – Former CEO and CFO of athletic equipment company each face up to 20 years in prison after defrauding more than 100 schools across 12 states with fraudulent or duplicate invoices for sports equipment.
- March, 2013 — Scammers Targeting Small Business Owners
MILWAUKEE – Postal inspectors identified 800 victimized companies that were sent invoices for light bulbs that were not ordered, or received in many cases. Losses totaled $3M.
- January, 2013 — Old Scam Rears Its Ugly Head
CANADA – Hair salon owner, Carol Soderquist, turns down a cold call offer for web development services, then is harassed to pay an invoice after unauthorized services are performed.
- January, 2013 — Better Business Bureau’s Top Ten Scams of 2012
CHICAGO – Business scams disguised as invoices for office supplies were a huge threat in 2012, and should not fall off the radar. This classic scam continues to be a threat to any size AP department.
- November, 2012 — Suspected Employee Fraud Leads to $1.438 Million Woodruff Arts Center Loss
ATLANTA – Internal theft by an ex-employee goes unnoticed for five years and results in $1.4M loss for Woodruff Arts Center. Suspicious invoices for services unrendered were uncovered by an outside auditor after the employee left the company.
- September, 2012 — Bank Security Head Jailed for £2.5 Million Invoice Fraud
Head of Fraud and Security is found guilty of defrauding her employer. During a 4-year span, Jessica Harper, 50, submitted false invoices and collected payments that totaled nearly $4 million.
- August, 2012 — Yellow Pages Scam Targets Small Business Owners
The phony Yellow Pages scam strikes again…8 years after the business closed its doors.
- August, 2012 — $185,000 Fake Papers
Fake invoices and bank statements are used to trick investors.
- July, 2012 — Ozark Business Owner Sentenced for $6.7 Million Bank Fraud
Business man falsely inflates invoices sold to bank and receives 5+ years in prison and more than $6M in fines.
- July, 2012 — Thousands Fall Victim to Scam on Utility Aid
National scam on government utility aid has customers giving personal information and paying invoices with fake bank account numbers.
- July, 2012 — California Whacks Environmental Firm
California-based environmental firm is under fire for submitting phonies to the state for cleaning up leaky underground gas tanks.
- June, 2012 — FAA Contractor Admits to Stealing $1 Million
Federal Aviation Administration Contractor Steals $1 million via bogus health insurance claims.
- June, 2012 — Lawyer charged with theft in fraudulent billing case
New York lawyer allegedly scams $9 million from employer in phony invoices.
- May, 2012 — NY A.G. Schneiderman Issues “Alert” Warning of Fake Invoices
State attorney generals are issuing warnings for organizations to keep an eye out for this phony.
- May, 2012 — Phony Invoices SOS
Growing complaints for New York company, Strategic Business Communications, and its phony invoices scam.
- May, 2012 — Small-Town Comptroller Accused Of Stealing $53 Million
The AP writes: Federal prosecutors allege Crundwell created phony invoices that she characterized as being from the state of Illinois.
- March, 2012 — FBI Arrests Two For Defrauding Lionsgate, Buying Mercedes
Senior buyer at Lionsgate Entertainment almost pulls off a $2M advertising invoice scam targeting Lionsgate Entertainment in March 2012.
- March, 2012 — Competition Bureau Offers Tips to Businesses During Fraud Prevention Month
The Competition Bureau provides businesses with a list of things to consider that will help protect your organization from fraud.
- February, 2012 — Trojan scoops 20k archives in one week
A Trojan discovered in February 2012 stole upwards of 20K archives and is spreading across the globe.
- February, 2012 — False invoice scam nets $650,000 from Curtin University
A woman is jailed and another faces a similar outcome for their respective roles in a “criminal enterprise” that netted about $650,000 from Curtin University in Australia.
- January, 2012 — Phony toner scam warning
The BBB of Northern Indiana is warning businesses about a scam involving fake orders for printer toner.
- January, 2012 — Fake ADA invoices being faxed to dentists.
The ADA is warning its members about fraudulent invoices that were faxed across the U.S.
- January, 2012 — NY Bookkeeper Accused of $1M Theft using Phony Invoices
A woman in charge of managing finances at the Archdiocese of New York managed to steal about $1 million from the church by depositing checks for phony invoices into accounts she controlled.
- December, 2011 — Beware of Amazon Shipping Scam.
The BBB is warning businesses about an Amazon shipping scam sent via email.
- November, 2011 — Nun gets reimbursed $850,000 using Phony Invoices.
A nun stole more than $850,000 from Iona College while she was in charge of the school’s finances.
- June, 2011 — Auto Dealers Beware.
The BBB warns auto dealers of a phony invoice scam from “AutoMotive Services,Inc.”
- April, 2011 — Conde Nast hit for $7.9 million.
Prestigious publishing company Condé Nast was out nearly $8 million after a man in Alvin, Texas concocted an email scam in late 2010.
- June, 2010 — Best Buy pays over $900,000.
A Pennsylvania man pleads guilty to defrauding Richfield-based Best Buy Co. out of more than $900,000 in a 2010 billing scheme.