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FBI tips to avoid being the victim of a purchase order scam

Businesses can avoid becoming victims of purchase order fraud by being aware of several fraud indicators:

Incorrect domain names on websites, emails, and purchase orders. The scammers use nearly identical domain names of legitimate organizations, but in the case of a university, for example, if the URL does not end in .edu, it is likely fraudulent.

The shipping address on a purchase order is not the same as the business location. Likewise, if the delivery address is a residence or self-storage facility, it should raise red flags.

Poorly written email correspondence that contains grammatical errors, suggesting that the message was not written by a fluent English speaker.

Phone numbers not associated with the company or university, and numbers that are not answered by a live person.

Orders for unusually large quantities of merchandise, with a request to ship priority or overnight.

If you are the victim of purchase order fraud, it's important to contact local law enforcement and the FBI. You should also report the crime to the Internet Complaint Center (IC3). If the fraud is discovered before the goods are shipped, there is a good chance the merchandise can be recovered. More than $1 million worth of merchandise has been recovered, thanks to businesses quickly discovering the fraud.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation "Purchase Order Scam Leaves a Trail of Victims"

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