Police on Friday called on people to be cautious when carrying out online purchases after receiving another complaint from a company that they were scammed into paying more than €40,000 to people posing as their suppliers.

The latest online scam was reported by the director of a company in Limassol who told police that they were duped into paying that amount to people pretending to be the supplier from which they had ordered merchandise.

The director said that some three months ago they had ordered merchandise from abroad. After the merchandise arrived, the company had made an agreement with the supplier to pay at a later stage.

On Thursday, however, the company received an email from an address that was similar to that of their suppliers asking for immediate payment of the invoice and gave them a bank account. The company paid in total €42,386 but when they informed their supplier, they said they did not receive any money.

Limassol CID’s economic crime investigation unit is investigating the case.

According to police, this ‘invoice scam’ method is very common and targets mainly businesses dealing with other businesses abroad. Scammers may approach businesses, not only online, but also through the phone or by post, police said, and called on business owners and directors to inform their staff of this scam method and always confirm the payment requests come from their associates.

In cases they suspect attempts of scam, they are urged to report the case, police said.