General 116: Fraudulent Invoices – Please Be Aware

Recently, another Local Authority received an email notification from one of their schools advising that account details had changed for one of their recruitment partners.

When the school received the notification via an email – that had appeared to be from a genuine source, they did not conduct any checks to verify the new account details.

The school forwarded the personnel invoice to the Council, and a total of 14 payments were paid to two accounts held with Nationwide and Prepay. The Local Authority client identified the fraud when the supply teachers reported to the school that they had not received their wages. All the payments were input over a three week period using BACS.

There was a partial recovery of funds which remained within these accounts but it looks as if the Local Authority will suffer a loss.

Revenue thought it would be a useful  to send out the below reminders/best practice guides on what to look out for when uploading your invoices to SCRAPS .

Requests for changes to a supplier’s bank details should always be verified using details previously held on file.
When an invoice has been paid, inform the supplier, including the account the payment was made to. Again, use details previously held on file.
If you are suspicious about a request made by phone, ask the caller if you can call them back. Fraudsters will attempt to pressure you into making mistakes – take the pressure off by taking control of the situation.  If in doubt google the company to ensure  they  are a valid company and use any contact  details held there rather than ones given to you on an Invoice .

Ultimately, if you are unsure please ring the payments helpdesk for advice.

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