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The Better Business Bureau has issued an alert to business owners about a new scam targeting business vendor payments.
This scam is particularly easy to miss, reports the BBB, because unlike many other business scams which rely on selling business owners fake or useless products and services, this latest scam uses the names of real vendors that the targeted companies already do business with.
How does the scam work, and how can you avoid being taken for a costly ride?
Scam Email Requests Change in Payment Method
Although the scam has several different variations, the basic theme is the same: The person who's responsible for paying invoices to vendors receives an urgent email -- either from an executive within the company or from the vendor directly -- requesting that instead of sending a check for payment, money needs to be wired directly to a bank account.
Of course, that money never makes it to the vendor. The email request was sent either from an email address disguised to appear legit -- known as spoofing -- or from an actual email account used by the vendor or the executive that has been hacked by the scammers.
According to the FTC, average losses in this scam have totaled $55,000, with some businesses losing as much as $800,000. So how can you avoid being the next victim?
Tips for Your Business
Here are a few suggested tips from the FTC and the BBB for avoiding this scam.
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