PayPal Scams Targeting Businesses In Tulsa
- Are you aware of the latest email phishing scam wanting payment you don’t own?
- If PayPal invoices are authentic, how can they be fake simultaneously?
- What’s the oldest scam in the book, fake invoices or a handwritten IOU?
- Did the DoD pay these twins $20,500,000 from fraudulent invoices?
- Does the United States government have a Complaint Department?
We were recently alerted to a new email phishing scam targeting Tulsa businesses. It seems as though scammers are sending out fake invoices from PayPal. If your accounting department regularly pays invoices emailed to them, a scammer may have sent one to your company.
When you receive a PayPal invoice, we recommend double-checking it if you don’t think you owe it. These scam artists hope you won’t check and pay the balance owed. Before you click the link to pay, watching Mike’s latest video may prevent another theft.
What Is A PayPal Invoice Scam?
PayPal invoice scams get designed to trick you into paying a fake invoice balance you do not owe. This scam is sent from a confirmed PayPal account to a victim’s email inbox. Should you try and dispute the amount owed, the scammer threatens to report you to PayPal if you refuse to pay.
However, let’s assume you believe the invoice is authentic. Before you click the pay button, double-check your account. Do you have a record of using their services in the past? If this person is your vendor, you should have some initial information before using them.
Suppose you cannot find any documentation besides the invoice from this person or their company. In that case, it’s evident someone’s trying to scam you. Remember, the invoice from a PayPal account is an actual invoice but deceptively created to steal money from you.
How Long Has Invoice Fraud Been Around?
It is difficult to know how long invoice fraud has been around, but it’s considered the oldest scam in the book, long before Tulsa became a city. The most recognized forms are letters of credit, bills of lading, false or duplicate invoices, and age-old, handwritten IOUs.
Regarding PayPal’s fake invoices, one can only speculate that it started shortly after the company began in December 1998. With the acceleration of technology and software apps, criminals continue to ramp up their efforts to exploit this platform to the fullest.
That’s why you, your accounting person, or your department must quickly brush up on how to spot fraudulent invoices. The next time you receive an invoice from PayPal, have a robust review process that reviews all payment requests before releasing the funds.
Did The DoD Pay $20.5M In Fraudulent Invoices?
The year was 2007. C&D Distributors, a small parts supply company owned by twin sisters, were vendors for the U.S. Department of Defense. As it turns out, these two owners devised a way to alter their invoices to inflate shipping costs and their part prices.
They invoiced the DoD hundreds of thousands of dollars instead of what would cost them pennies on the dollar to acquire, such as washers and bolts. The federal government finally detected these outrageously fraudulent invoice charges many years later.
Due to the DoD’s oversight, their only explanation was automatically paying these invoices to speed up shipments. When these criminals finally got caught, they had taken in more than $20,500,000 for goods and services they had never sold.
Does The Government Have A Complaint Department?
Indeed they do. Your best option is to report any fake or fraudulent invoices or phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint. Then your next step is to review your anti-fraud processes and procedures with each employee.
With scammers actively using platforms like PayPal, Venmo, and Zelle, Tulsa business owners will continue seeing an increase in fake PayPal invoices dropping in their email inboxes. When you receive invoices from any of these places, verify before you push the pay now button.
At NSN Management, we understand how these phishing criminals operate and the steps we take to stop them. If you’ve recently received a fraudulent invoice or are a victim of a PayPal phishing scam, contact us or call (918)770-7400 today for assistance!