Swedbank warns of scam attempts using fake business invoices

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Fraudsters have started to attempt scamming Latvian companies by faking invoices from company partners with bogus account numbers, Swedbank said on November 28.

The bank asks that entrepreneurs and company accountants be especially vigilant, as fraudsters often succeed in mimicking collaboration partners' e-mails and switching their billing properties. As a result, company employees transfer money to fraudsters' accounts in other financial institutions when they pay their bills normally. The average amount that a company can lose in this form of fraud is around €100,000 this year.

"Partner relationships and mutual trust are a common case for business activities, particularly where cooperation has been sustained. However, if fraudsters get to the company's correspondence, they use this information and falsify the usual invoices by replacing the recipient's account number and thus defrauding the company. If a partner sends a letter saying that the company's billing properties are changing, it is better to make sure twice that this information is true, rather than blindly trusting and losing money. Especially at the end of the year, when all companies are seeking to pay all the bills for the end of the financial year," said Jevgenijs Ivanovs, executive director of Swedbank Business Management.

The bank said that, in general, such a form of fraud is complicated, as fraudsters need to collect specific information. Such information may come into the hands of fraudsters if company employees do not pay enough attention to the safety of job information or if company employees install on their work computers a variety of software that can be abused. Once fraudsters have access to business-to-partner communications, counterfeiting invoices is not a problem.


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