From at least August 2015 until May 2019, a former Senior Vice President of a global internet marketing firm defrauded his employer out of $6M. The 48 year old engaged in a scheme to defraud his employer by paying invoices for IT services and fictitious products. The invoices were issued by a fake tech company that he created. Once the funds were deposited into the shell company’s account, he then transferred the funds over to his own personal account.
The Long Island resident pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. As much as the former IT executive covered his tracks, he missed the one thing that eventually got him caught. Click here to read more about this story and what eventually got him caught.
Prevent This From Happening to YOU!
BEWARE: Is It REAL Or FAKE: Safeguarding Your Company From Invoice Fraud.
Can’t tell if it’s real or fake? Fraudsters have upped their game with the assistance of technology. Julie Johnson, Research Specialist at the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (https://www.acfe.com/) (ACFE) says invoice fraud appears to be on the rise. “The rise of technology offers fraudsters new and creative ways to commit invoice fraud as well as more options to hide their tracks” says Johnson.
Below are a few red flags to keep your eyes on when it comes to invoice fraud:
- The company name listed on the invoice is not a registered company. If you are not familiar with the company, look it up and verify it’s a real company. Still not sure, call them!
- A description (a very brief one) is listed that is insufficient to adequately detail the goods or services being invoiced. Be sure to compare the receipt of goods and purchase orders with the invoice.
- If the payable address is different from the company address be sure to validate it. Pay close attention to P.O. Boxes and always verify by calling the company.
- If the invoice was created using Microsoft Word, check the file metadata to verify who the invoice came from.
As with many types of scams, both staff awareness and having the proper controls in place are always essential.
Source: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
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