Yes, I know it has been way too long since the last post. I was actually thinking of taking this website down since I do not have that much time lately and seem to also be experiencing writer’s block. Well, I guess not everyone liked that idea. So, for now, we’ll keep writing… for a little while.
As the end of the year nears and a new one begins, here are some tips that some of you have provided to share with our readers, all of which relate to fraud prevention. Thank you for your comments and emails.
What if you suspect a fraud? Have you ever considered taking a portion of the verbiage on an invoice and entering that into a search engine on the internet? This may sound really crazy, but recently someone I know did this as the items being billed for on the invoice looked “off” and the descriptions were extremely long. As it turned out, the exact verbiage was found on the marketing products page for a completely different company. The prospective client had copied and pasted the verbiage from a site in their haste to prepare invoices. What did the factor say, “Plagiarism is not limited to college or high school term papers anymore.”
With technology today, it has become increasingly easy to create, edit and submit invoices, purchase orders, and even billing documentation. You can find a lot on the Internet, and there are several tools that allow for editing PDF files and other documents that now exist. Just think of all the tools you have access to in your daily work.
Even more so, what about those prospective clients or clients who have also created account debtors? Yes, this can be done and is done. You can check credit agencies, secretary of state websites, and perform Internet searches on the customers. Sometimes a simple credit report is not sufficient. Plus, it is important to know which credit reporting agencies take reporting from the company being reported on (self reporting) versus accepting credit reporting only by third parties. If you are not sure, find out before you rely on simply one credit agency.
All of this is time consuming for the prospective client and for the factor to research, but it can be done. More importantly, it has been done and is being done today. When money is involved, people looking to initiate a fraud will go to great lengths to convince you to send them money. Creating the story and covering their tracks is what they do all day, every day.
When someone who commits fraud goes so far as to set up fraudulent debtors with websites and state registered companies, even if you cross check a phone number or address on the Internet, your independent research will reveal matching results with what your prospective client has provided to you, the factor.
One way to attempt to catch this is to check out the domain name for the debtor; this also works on email addresses as well. Watch for discreet domain ownership as this type of service can be used to hide a potential fraud.
On another note but along the same lines, have you ever had verification calls that went too smoothly? This with forwarded phone calls, Internet phone services, prepaid cell phones and other methods of hiding the true person you are contacting will also help a company commit fraud. If the company is valid, there should be a land line that can be identified with that company.
Well, that should be enough fraud facts for now. Thank you for your comments and tips. Please keep them coming.
Wishing you continued success. The Factor Guru.