EAGLE-eyed staff at a Moray school have been praised for their quick thinking in spotting a fake invoice and averting a successful scam.
Moray Council’s audit and performance review committee heard that the invoice for a supply of sex education books had been sent to Buckie High School from an address in Manchester.
Although the invoice appeared genuine, checking procedures quickly established that the items had been neither ordered nor received.
Committee chair, Councillor Gordon McDonald, commended the procedures in place for invoice processing and praised the diligence of school staff.
“The invoice looked genuine, apart from one minor spelling mistake and the staff deserve a great deal of credit for being so alert to this particular scam,” he said.
Thanks to their vigilance all schools in Moray and the rest of the Scottish schools network have been made aware of the scam and asked to keep a close lookout for any similar attempts to defraud the council.
The fake invoice was for 30 books – entitled ‘Sex Education: a Young Person’s Guide’ – claiming a total of £299.70. No books were ordered or received by the school.
Staff suspicions were raised when they checked the bogus company’s website, where the single spelling mistake was spotted in the small print; the word ‘organisation’ was spelled ‘organsation’.
Attempts to contact the firm from the details on the website and the invoice failed, and staff raised the alarm with the council’s internal audit team.
Police are investigating the scam.
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