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Information for Suppliers - Fraudulent Purchase Orders

Be Alert to Fraudulent Emails and Purchase Orders

What is the fraudulent purchase order scam?

Suppliers have recently been targeted by a series of fraudulent purchase order emails purporting to come from the University of Limerick. This is a scam wherein fraudsters attempt to obtain equipment from suppliers by providing them with a forged University of Limerick purchase order.

The scam operates in the following way:

A supplier will receive an email requesting a quotation for specific item/s of equipment, often medical or I.T. equipment, and often in large quantities and of high value. Once the quotation has been provided, a purchase order is emailed to the supplier, which bears only minor resemblance to an authentic University of Limerick purchase order. The purchase order typically instructs delivery to an address not affiliated with the University of Limerick. After shipping the item/s of equipment, the supplier never receives payment and is unable to retrieve the shipped products.

How to identify the Fraudulent emails/POs:

  • Incorrect domain names are used to send emails and purchase orders. A valid University of Limerick email address will always end in @ul.ie An example of an incorrect domain being used in these fraudulent emails is @ul-ie.com
  • The shipping address is not a location in the University of Limerick. Fraudulent addresses will typically be a domestic residence or a unit in an industrial estate or a self-storage facility, often based in Dublin, or other locations nowhere near the University of Limerick.
  • Poorly written email with grammatical errors are always a sign of a suspicious email.
  • Unusually large quantities are requested.
  • Rush to ship priority/overnight
  • Use of a false or unknown contact from the university. If requests are received from an unknown university contact that raises your suspicion, please contact the University of Limerick Purchasing Office by email: purchasing@ul.ie or by phone: 353 (0) 61 202 027 to verify the validity of the request. Do not contact the name/number used on the email/purchase order.
  • Please note fraudulent emails may contain seemingly legitimate contact information so it is important to look for other signs.