You sell face paint to retailers and online in the United States, but your supplier is located in a foreign country. You regularly wire payments to your overseas vendor for face paint. Scary clowns are all the rage this year and your clown face paint kit is selling like hot cakes—your retailers have placed another purchase order for 100 cases by October 1st. Your supplier needs you to pay past due invoices by the end of day in order to make this deadline. However, your accounts payable clerk and CFO are out of the office attending a seminar.
You receive the email from the supplier with the amount payable and a notification that the wire transfer account information has changed. You don’t have time to wait for the CFO and accounts payable clerk to return, so you go ahead and make the payment. Two days later the supplier emails you to request payment and confirm you still want the product shipped for delivery by October 1st. You check your online bank account and see the money has cleared. The bank confirms that the money was transferred, but to an account in New York. You go back to the email you received and notice that the sender’s email address was not email@example.com but firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ve just been tricked in the worst way.
To avoid this trick in the future, treat yourself to the following smart business practices:
- Have an internal process for payment verification that includes calling the vendor and the bank.
- Call to verify with your vendors any payment term changes
- Call your bank to verify the wire transfer information prior to sending large payments
Marsh & McLennan Agency works to proactively decrease your claims through our risk and loss advisory group.