Business scams and how to avoid them

Businesses can be a prime target for scammers looking for large sums of money. Find out how to stay one step ahead of them and protect your business.

Common business scams

Email invoicing scam

This is where a business receives an email for an invoice or sale of goods, and the account details have been changed. This happens when a scammer intercepts either the sender or receiver’s emails, so they can jump in and make changes to documents within the emails, which could lead to the amount on the invoice being paid to the scammer instead.

Send to receive scam

This involves scammers posing as a potential customer or client and reaching out to a business to ask them for money in order to set up a new business, under the condition that they’ll make a purchase once the payment has gone through. For example, they might ask for a $500 payment to help them get set up with their new business, under the promise that they’ll buy $2000 worth of products once they’re done.

What to look out for

Updated account details

On invoices from existing clients that you’ve paid before (that might otherwise look the same).

New invoices

From new suppliers or businesses that you haven’t paid before.

Requests for money

Especially with promises of future orders or business.

Tips to avoid business scams

Be careful with invoices

Be on the look out for any changes or anything suspicious.

Contact suppliers directly

If you’ve noticed an existing supplier has changed their account details, contact them through a number on their website or one you’ve used before.

Contact new suppliers

If you get a new invoice from someone you’ve never paid before, contact them directly to confirm their account details match the invoice.

Always check before paying

Never authorise a payment without checking all the details first – we may not be able to recover payments made to the wrong account.

Never provide set-up money

Never handle payments on behalf of another company or send someone money without them providing a product or service first.

Keep your security updated

Update your device’s security settings regularly and be careful with your email login – see more about how to keep your cyber safety up to scratch.

Scams targeting your personal banking

It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for scams outside your business banking, too. Here’s what to look out for.

Something not quite right?

If you’ve noticed something suspicious, or think you might have been scammed, get in touch with one of our business banking specialists.

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This information is of a general nature and is not intended to be considered as professional advice. You should not act on the basis of anything contained in this publication without first obtaining specific financial advice.