I was approached by a Japanese company to act as their virtual accountant in the UK. They were producer of agricultural equipment and had an extensive brochure, online prescence, LinkedIn etc.
They wanted monthly accounts and aged payables and receivables management, and said that it would be more cost efficient for them to use a Business Process Outsourcing Unit rather than setting up an office. I have some overseas clients who so similar, so it was not out of the ordinary for me.
They checked out and proposed a remuneration of $30k pa. They appeared to be a well established company with a very plausible website and catalogue appearing all over Google and other reputable domains. They had also done some background research on me, and knew details of myself and my company that were not on my website.
I consider myself as quite tech savvy, and on the ball with combatting fraud, but I admit I was taken in at this point!
It was my intention to set them up as a Ltd Co. here with it's own bank account, however they preferred not to do that and wanted me to execute payments to suppliers for them on their behalf. This obviously raised a red flag for me, so I did a Japanese registry search and found that there were very similar named companies, but no exact match.
Then I looked online and found that they had tried to scam a US practioner the same way using their same website. He'd signed the contract with them, however got suspicious when they sent him a cheque and asked him to make an onward supplier payment. After verifying the cheque was fake, he kindly went online to warn others.
Just as I'm doing now!