Notice to Suppliers: Fraudulent Quote Request/Purchase Order Email Activity

The Kentucky Community & Technical College System wants to alert vendors to active email scams involving quotation requests and issue of purchase orders that impersonate originating from one of our sixteen (16) colleges, but are actually fraudulent in nature. This activity includes impersonation of KCTCS employees as well as exchange of forged KCTCS purchase orders.

The scam may begin with an email quote request for specific merchandise. Subsequent to the quote, a purchase order is emailed to the business that bears resemblance to a KCTCS purchase order. The purchase order instructs delivery to an address not affiliated with the KCTCS College. If the items are shipped the supplier may never receive payment and may be unable to retrieve the shipped products.

While KCTCS Procurement cannot prevent this illegal activity, we want to inform the supplier community and promote awareness of such events. Major universities across the US have been targets of scams involving fraudulent quote requests and purchase orders.

To assist you in identifying possible scam activity, some common traits or themes of fraudulent quote requests/purchase orders, which may help reduce the risk to your company from becoming a victim of this scam, are below:

 

  • The message requests shipment/delivery of products to a non-KCTCS address. KCTCS does not ship to warehouses, hotels, apartments, mobile home parks, or residential addresses that are out of state. Use internet services such as Google Maps or MapQuest to confirm delivery information.

  • The Purchase Order that is fraudulently sent may contain watermarks.

  • The delivery zip code is something other than a zip code for Kentucky locations.

  • The quote may request large quantities of highly resalable items such as electronics, hard drives, memory, toner, medical items, etc.

  • The sender's email address is not given or is not the same as KCTCS’s standard email address domain (@kctcs.edu). With few exceptions, a valid inquiry or quote request will almost always originate from within the @kctcs.edu domain.

  • The email message may be poorly written, with misspellings and awkward sentence structure.

  • A KCTCS purchase order will only be issued by employed staff of Procurement to Payment Services.

 

The message may include an attachment that is designed to look like an official request for quote or KCTCS purchase order. It may include an authentic logo copied from our marketing materials/advertisements that contain other graphics designed to appear legitimate. It may also include a forged signature that appears to be genuine.

If you are not familiar with our request for quote form and/or content of a KCTCS Purchase order or suspect fraud in any way, please forward the message to KCTCS Procurement (KCTCS-Purchasing@kctcs.edu) in order to verify its legitimacy before responding to the email or fulfilling the order. You may also contact our office at 859-256-3336, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

Please note that the KCTCS cannot be held responsible and disclaims liability for any goods fraudulently or invalidly ordered by or delivered to perpetrators based on this activity.