Mystery office supplies: Billed for what you never bought

by patrol

This scam is mostly circumscribed to large corporations or factories where there is a big accounts and administration team to take care of things. Most of the offices are billed for what they never bought or ordered using fake invoices. In other words, they are billed for “mystery” office supplies.

What is the scam about?
The scammer makes a fake bill that resembles a standard company from which the large corporation receives supplies. Before preparing the bill, the scammer calls the corporation for details (names and phone numbers) of the decision-makers in the company. He enters the details to make the invoice look legitimate and authentic. The company accounts staff pay for it without noticing that they never ordered or received the items mentioned in the invoice.

How does the scam happen?
It mainly happens because of the carelessness of the busy accounts departments of large companies. Many companies think that if they get an invoice that looks legitimate, then they should have ordered for those items and immediately dispatch the money. Another version of this scam is when the supplier sends low-quality items with an inflated invoice.

How to avoid the scam? Check with the respective teams on what was ordered and if the items ordered are in good condition. Better still, issue a purchase order number to every purchase that is made. Consider invoices that come with the purchase order number, ignore the ones without it. Also, set aside a team to maintain records on all the orders that have placed – with the name of the company, dealer or seller. The best way to avoid trouble is to always do business with a reputable dealer. Do all this and you will be able to solve a lot more money for your company!

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