It may be a simple way of passing info but in the age of internet fraudsters and hackers, we beg of you, don’t do it. Why so much concern? Let us dig in…
As many of you already know, a simple, well-formatted invoice with all the right components can make all the difference in making sure you get paid quickly. Here’s what you’ll want to make sure is included on any business invoice:
- The invoice date
- Unique invoice number
- Your company name and address
- The name and address of your customer
- Brief description of services or goods provided
- The amount
- The payment terms (eg, when they will pay you and whether there are any guidelines you need them to keep in mind about late payments and such)
- And the most important… HOW TO PAY!
We’ve heard and seen many examples of wedding businesses including their business bank account information (ie, account number and routing numbers) on the invoice because it’s a convenient way to communicate that info to clients to get paid. That said, adding your account info like that straight onto an invoice can get you in trouble with fraudsters. Here’s how:
Access to Your Account: If a fraudster hacks your email or gets a hold of this invoice to commandeer your Bank Account Information, they now can initiate a bank draft (think cashier’s check) on your behalf and send that money abroad.
Fake Checks: If that is not bad enough, we have seen the creative fraudsters use that Bank Account information to create fake checks in your name, which can be used to spend the money in your bank account.
Intercepted Bank Transfers (Which Can Also Impact Your Clients): Another scenario? If you send that email containing a PDF or Word invoice with your Bank Account Information, hardened criminals can intercept your email before it gets to your client. Once intercepted, fraudsters can either change the invoice to reflect their own banking details (i.e. supplanting yours) or commandeer your information, specifically your Bank Account Information, or both!
In the case where the fraudsters change the banking details to their own, your unknowing client receives a re-sent email with the new invoice and makes a payment to the new Bank Account Information…leaving you waiting in frustration for their payment, which of course will never come.
If you’re thinking, “This will never happen to me or my clients,” here is a big dose of reality: this happened to Amazon in 2020. Amazon was hit with nearly $19 million of “invoice fraud”, where fraudsters changed Bank Account information on invoices sent to Amazon from their partners. Can you imagine your clients paying a fraudster $5k? $20k? $50k? $100k+?
If all of this sounds super scary, it doesn’t have to be! Enter shameless plug: sign up for Maroo!
With Maroo, the need to email PDF or Word invoices with your bank account and routing number goes away. We partner with Plaid, which allows wires and ACH transfers to happen seamlessly without wedding pros or clients sharing any bank information.
Don’t have an account yet? Sign up for FREE as a business here: https://pay.maroo.us/v/signup