B2B Scammers Wield The Power Of The Invoice

When invoices are generated manually, there are plenty of opportunities for billing to go awry. This week’s look at the latest in B2B payments fraud lands its focus on the invoice, used in a variety of ways by scammers to infiltrate B2B payment workflows and steal company cash. For some targets of these fraudsters, that means impersonating legitimate vendors. For others, the crime is all about inflating invoice figures. PYMNTS rounds up the latest cases below.

One invoice tricked a member of the Northwest Territories Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the RCMP revealed last week. A member of its Financial Crimes Unit reportedly fell for a scam involving a fraudulent invoice from a seemingly legitimate and longtime supplier. Reports in CBC said a hacker infiltrated that government supplier to send an email along with a duplicate invoice that the RCMP unit had already paid. The email warned that, due to COVID-19, it could no longer accept physical check payments, prompting the recipient to re-send the money. Reports did not detail how much was erroneously sent, but did note that the government quickly discovered the error and recovered the money.

115 businesses are reportedly involved in an invoice fraud scam in India, reports in LiveMint revealed. Government officials have uncovered the suspected fraud ring, with the accused businesses said to have passed on tax credits without providing related goods or services. To do so, the government claims, these firms created fake invoices sent to tax authorities, with those bills largely relating to consultancy services or supply of manpower, according to a government official. One individual has been arrested in relation to the case, reports noted.

$136,420 worth of fraudulent invoices were allegedly sent by a Canadian brewery, its landlord claims, according to recent Guelph Today reports. The landlord is said to have grown concerned about its tenant after claims the company was failing to pay its suppliers. According to reports, the landlord is accusing the brewery of inflating prices on invoices sent to its landlord as part of its financing agreement on the lease for leasehold improvements and equipment installment. The landlord had agreed to pay up to 75 percent of the invoicing, but now alleges that the brewery falsified those invoices while also reportedly failing to pay its own vendors.

$13 million was raised by Unit21 to combat fraud, the startup announced last week. The company operates a platform of no-code tools for risk and compliance teams within the enterprise, offering solutions for businesses to minimize their fraud losses and maintain compliance. Investors at A.Capital Ventures led the round, which also saw participation from Gradient Ventures, Core VC, South Park Commons, and others.

1 million ways exist for attackers to compromise Microsoft Office 365 Email, according to a new report from Area 1 Security. The company analyzed nearly 1.5 billion messages sent to users of the email service and found more than 925,000 malicious emails that Office 365. failed to detect. Among the most common scams is the Business Email Compromise, targeting business users of Office 365; the BEC scam can often go undetected by traditional defenses, researchers warn, with attackers often using Microsoft tools themselves to carry out the attack and impersonate legitimate executives or business partners. The report uncovered a “steady increase” in targeted BEC scams.