THURSDAY 24 APR 2014 2:29 PM


A group of fraudsters masquerading as a press release distribution service are delivering fake invoices under the corporate identity ‘PRfastmedia’. PR agencies and small businesses are the key targets. The scam originally came to light in June 2013, when the scammers went under the name of ‘Silence Media Network’.

The invoices, delivered by post, claim that money is owed and provide payment details. The description on the letter and the contact details are sourced from the individual company's own outgoing press releases, giving the invoices an authentic appearance.

As well as being an obvious threat for PR agencies, invoice scams can also be particularly damaging for reputable press release distribution services. These unusual scams are a stark reminder for accountants to remain vigilant when processing these kinds of documents.

Adam Parker, CEO for Realwire, a global press release distribution service, says, “So far we’re only aware of one instance in relation to releases we’ve published, but we’re in the process of advising all clients to be vigilant. I’ve come across similar scams in relation to trademarks and patents where publicly available information about a company’s activities is used to offer services they don’t need. With my accountant hat on, a key defence against such scams is to make sure your organisation has strong financial controls around expenditure authorisation and payment to ensure it only pays for services it actually requires and contracts for. These include a formal supplier approval process and either using a purchase order system, or ensuring that the person who originally ordered the service approves any invoice received.” 

Previously, reputable press release distribution service, Pressat, and PR software and media database, Cision, were falsely claimed to be affiliated with the Silence Media Network. Kester Ford, head of product and marketing at Cision says, “Cision is not affiliated in any way with Silence Media Network or PRfastmedia. While we are not aware of any of our clients being contacted by scammers recently, we would advise anyone contacted by either of these companies to ignore the correspondence and report any demand for payment to Action Fraud UK.”


MON 16 May 2016 10:59 AM
Reporting on brand
FRI 13 May 2016 2:00 PM
Jeep on running
WED 11 May 2016 1:28 PM
Crises are lost in translation
WED 11 May 2016 9:17 AM
Lack of strategy in IC