Paying Suppliers: Red Flags

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3 February 2020


Being an international or global business has many benefits: you are able to source the best products at often better prices, have diverse clients and get access to the best talent pool when recruiting around the world.

n the flip side, dealing with individuals whom you’ve not met in person, or whom you mostly communicate with via email, comes with additional risks. These risks can be mitigated to ensure you protect your business.

We see an increasing number of instances where business emails have been compromised on either one or both sides of the business relationship. This enables imposters to obtain all the information they need to impersonate a buyer, a supplier or both parties in some cases.

What can you do?

There are a few red flags to look out for when paying a supplier or beneficiary for the first time. This also applies in instances where there is a sudden change to the bank details of an existing beneficiary.

Each red flag warrants further investigation and clarification. The best course of action is to contact the supplier via the phone via an independently verified phone number to verify the details in question.

Red Flags:

  1. The supplier and the supplier’s bank are located in different countries.
  2. The bank account name does not match your supplier name.
  3. The supplier contacts you from an unexpected email address or via an unexpected channel.
  4. A sudden, last-minute change of bank account details.
  5. The supplier is applying undue pressure to send the payment.

It is advisable to investigate and clarify all concerns before proceeding with a payment. Please report any suspected fraud attempts to