Gardaí warn over fake purchase order scam

Companies have recently been targeted by a series of fake e-mails

Courts Service, spam email, warning, jury, summons, fine, bank details

General view of the iPhone 5s | Image: Edward Smith / EMPICS Entertainment

A warning has been issued by gardaí into bogus e-mails and purchasing orders.

Companies have recently been targeted by a series of fake e-mails.

Gardaí say fraudsters try to get equipment from suppliers by providing them with fake purchase orders.

The scam operates when a supplier receives an e-mail requesting a quotation for specific items of equipment - often medical or IT equipment - in large quantities and of high value.

Once the quotation has been provided, a purchase order is e-mailed to the supplier, which looks like an authentic purchase order of the relevant company.

The purchase order typically instructs delivery to an address not affiliated with the company.

After shipping the items of equipment, the supplier never receives payment and is unable to retrieve the shipped products.

There are a number of ways to identify the fraudulent e-mails and purchase orders:

  • Incorrect domain names are used to send e-mails and purchase orders

The majority of Irish e-mail addresses will always end in @companyname.ie. An example of an incorrect domain being used in these fraudulent emails is @companyname.com

  • The delivery address is not the purchasing companies address

Fraudulent addresses will typically be a domestic residence or a self-storage facility, often based in Dublin, or other locations nowhere near company ordering the goods

  • Poorly written e-mail with grammatical errors are always a sign of a suspicious activity
  • Unusually large quantities are requested
  • Rush to ship priority/overnight

Use of a false or unknown contact from the university
If requests are received from an unknown company contact that raises your suspicion, please contact the company direct to verify the validity of the request. Do not contact the name/number used on the e-mail/purchase order.

Gardaí warn that fraudulent e-mails may contain seemingly legitimate contact information, so it is important to look for other signs.