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Fake PayPal Invoice Scams Hits Reno & Sacramento

Bryan Badger avatar
Written by Bryan Badger posted on Sep 20, 2022

Key Points:

  • Have you heard that scammers are using fake PayPal invoices to trick you into paying?
  • Is it true that a scam artist can register with a reputable payment platform as a vendor?
  • If you have a large company, here’s how scammers blend in and go undetected.
  • This employee took advantage of a global manufacturer and pocketed $1,000,000.
  • This is the fastest and easiest way to get it done if you want to report fake invoices.

Integral Networks recently became aware of a new email scam. This time scammers are creating and emailing fake invoices from PayPal. If you regularly handle invoices at your company, you’re going to want to know more about this invoice fraud.

Unsuspecting Reno and Sacramento business accounting departments are receiving these fake invoices. Still, what’s more surprising, some are paying without double checking if they owe the money. Check out our latest video alert if this hasn’t happened to you.

YouTube video

What Is A Fake PayPal Invoice Scam?

Receiving fake PayPal invoices is a new type of phishing scam sent to email inboxes. A scam artist will register as a vendor through PayPal. Next, they begin emailing unsuspecting business owners of an unpaid invoice balance for services they never rendered.

Assuming the invoice is genuine without double checking. Once you click the pay button, your money gets automatically transferred from your PayPal account to the scammer’s account. The entire charade was designed to trick you into paying for something you do not owe.

Here’s where it gets a little tricky. Though the invoice is legitimate, it was fraudulently designed to look or appear like a real business or organization you might recognize. Since the invoices get sent from a genuine PayPal account, they are technically actual invoices, but fake too.

Is Invoice Fraud New?

Invoice fraud is an old and widespread horror story that has fooled many Chief Financial Officers and local Reno and Sacramento business owners for decades. Sometimes, the scammer can easily make you think; you interact with them regularly.

Large enterprise companies, for instance. They use vendors from different industries to provide services, like a plumber, HVAC, or nighttime janitorial services. With vendors coming and going, it’s easy for a scammer to blend in unnoticed.

So, when you receive an invoice that looks familiar or from a vendor, you'll most likely pay the balance. But, what makes invoice fraud extremely popular with criminals, is how easy it is to get paid and how few will recognize that the invoice is fake.

How Kia Motors Got Tricked Into Paying Fake Invoices

It’s often hard to believe those closest to you would use fake invoices to scam you. Unfortunately, that happened to Kia Motors in Irvine, CA., and their accountant, Cecile Nhung Campbell.

It seems as though Cecile was low on cash and needed a surge of money. Being the company accountant, she knew her employer didn’t enforce Kia’s anti-fraud protocols. That gave her the idea to set up a fake out-of-state company.

Once set up, she began sending her employer numerous fake invoices for over $1,000,000. With each payment landing in her and her husband’s bank account, she didn’t stop. But then Kia Motors uncovered the fraud, sued her and her husband, and both landed in prison.

How Do I Report A Fake PayPal Invoice?

With ongoing reports about fake PayPal invoices from news services, the federal government, and the Better Business Bureau, we must do our part to stop it. The more you participate in helping slow down PayPal scammers, other Reno and Sacramento businesses remain safe.

The fastest and quickest way to report a fake PayPal invoice or any fraudulent invoice sent to you or your company is through the Federal Trade Commission website at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Integral Networks is a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions for businesses in Reno and Sacramento. We can help your business deal with any cybersecurity needs, from protecting against malware and phishing attacks like fake PayPal invoice scams. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you keep your business safe from cyber threats.

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