Be vigilant and verify – combating invoice fraud

Jon Hall

20th April 2022

Be vigilant and verify - combating invoice fraud

A short note from our CEO, Alex Lawrence-Berkeley

Cybercrime is becoming increasingly sophisticated

One of our customers recently received a very convincing instruction to update our bank details and pay an invoice to a new account, this was confirmed with a high-quality fake bank letter (which our Bank no longer issues) and a well-formatted invoice.  Luckily, the customer caught this scam but could have been more than £30,000 out of pocket if the change had been made and the payment had gone ahead. 

This is an important issue for all organisations, irrespective of size, and we are relieved that on this occasion, no money has been lost.  We would ask you to check and double-check your knowledge, and that you and your colleagues share information about fraud attempts, and how to identify them. 

To learn more about Invoice Fraud, the Take Five campaign has a good explanation online. If in doubt or you suspect fraud, please hold payment and verify with someone you know or already deal with at Level Five Supplies directly.

What other measures have we taken?

Coding on a laptop

While we were not the target, fraud attempts provide a focus for reviewing what information security is in place. The source domain has been reported and suspended by the registrar, the receiving bank account is being investigated by the bank, our customer is investigating their IT systems and we have advised they report the matter to Action Fraud.

Lastly, we have blocked all non-encrypted traffic to our website – including enabling a new country block to one specific location which has historically been the source of automated attacks – and increased email security.

As the CEO, these responsibilities lie with me and I am pleased that the team at LFS maintains a robust range of tools and skills to deal with potential threats such as these. It is an unfortunate testament to becoming better known and more successful as a trading entity that one will become a more tempting target for criminals.

However, despite this, we will continue to support our customers and encourage you – whether a customer or an interested party – to remain vigilant and aware of this type of crime.