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  • Writer's pictureJerry Ipsen, CFE, MBA

Numerous Ways to Identify Fictitious Vendors

Updated: Dec 4, 2022

While one “way” by itself is not an indication of fraud. It is a red flag and warrants further investigation.

  • Look for vendors whose mailing addresses are P.O. Boxes.

  • Identify Companies that are not on a list of approved vendors.

  • Look for invoices with even dollar amounts or not taxes added.

  • Flag invoices for vague services or services that don’t seem necessary.

  • Look for payments without supporting documentation.

  • Compare names, addresses, bank account numbers and telephone numbers of vendors and employees.

  • Look for vendors who are also health or life beneficiaries of an employee.

  • Look for invoices created using Microsoft Excel or Word invoice templates.

  • Identify vendors with above-average revenues for investigation.

  • Look for invoices from the same vendor with consecutive invoice numbers.

  • Compare names of vendors with other similar vendor names and investigate whether payments have been diverted from one to the other.

  • Check names of accounts payable employees against Secretary of State records to determine whether they are principles or registered agents of a company that is a vendor.

  • Look for vendors without a taxpayer identification number or with an invalid one. A valid taxpayer ID number has nine digits with the first two digits separated by a hyphen.

  • Compare employer identification numbers, taxpayer identification numbers or DUNS numbers to see if more than one vendor has the same number.

  • Look for drastic changes in prices, services or products provided by a particular vendor.

  • Look for vendor names that consist only of initials and match those against employee initials.

When you suspect unscrupulous activity or have experienced fraud, call me to discuss your options. The initial consultation is offered at no cost to you.

The information originated from the article “16 Ways to Identify Fictitious Vendors” posted on i-sight.

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