Email Invoice Scam – A Nasty Business

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One of the many and varied reasons that the medical practice have yet to find cures for some of our more common illnesses is that they mutate – these pesky viruses have a habit of adapting to anything thrown at them and we are still suffering from those sniffles and sneezes.

The same goes for the email scammers: they “mutate” their messages to bypass our defences. Most of us are aware that the wealthy royalty from Nigeria, or the rich dignitary from the Middle East doesn’t really want to deposit £1m into our personal bank accounts. Whilst more widely known, we have to assume that some people continue to fall for this scam otherwise they wouldn’t still be sending the emails out.

A newer scam has come to our attention, or should we say inboxes recently – that of an attached invoice.

Email Invoice Scam

Nasty this one – playing on the fact that that most of us at some point in our lives will either owe money or be in line for a refund, covering pretty much every adult who has an email account.

And they’re good:

Dear Sirs,

Kindly find attached our reminder and copy of the relevant invoices.

Looking forward to receive your prompt payment and thank you in advance.

Kind regards

Robert Grimes

Or the Remittance Advice:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please find attached a remittance advice (UJ163SRH.doc) for your information.

Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best regards

BLA FINANCIAL HLDG CO

But beware – open the attachment and it could be the most expensive email attachment that you have ever opened.

Your first clue should always be the company name – look at the email address of the sender – if it states “businessname.com” have you ever heard of them? If you are in even the slightest bit of doubt, NEVER OPEN THE ATTACHMENT. Don’t click on any links, search the name online separately.

If it does appear to be from a company you recognise, does this email look similar to ones you’ve received before? Is there a matching email signature? If you do owe money to a company you should be able to easily access contact details online (not through the email links!) and can ask to speak with their accounts department. The same applies if you are expecting a refund of some sort.

And what if you have opened such an invoice? If you know how to, run a scan using your anti-virus. If you have noticed anything different about the running of your computer then get in touch with your IT support company as soon as you can. But don’t ignore it – if you’ve opened a dodgy attachment and let something nasty in it won’t go away on its own; and it could cost you a whole lot more than getting your computer repaired.

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  1. [...] will hack open your Twitter account doesn’t mean that everyone in the office is aware. The latest scams involving “invoices” and “remittance advice” attachments is already catching people out – but if they are aware they are less likely to fall [...]

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